Gus Viseur

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Gus Viseur
Gustave Joseph Viseur

(1915-05-17)17 May 1915
Lessines, Belgium
Died25 August 1974(1974-08-25) (aged 59)
Le Havre, France

Gustave Joseph Viseur (17 May 1915 – 25 August 1974)[note 1] was a Belgian/French accordionist.

Early life[edit]

Viseur was born in Lessines, Belgium, on 17 May 1915.[1] His father was a bargeman, so the family moved around a lot until 1920, when they settled in Paris.[2] Viseur was given basic instruction in how to play the accordion by his father from the age of eight, and then had lessons from a music professor.[2] Father and son played together in an amateur band from 1929.[2] After his father died,[2] Viseur "began performing on the streets of Paris in fairs and markets".[3]

Later life and career[edit]

In the early 1930s, Viseur played second accordion under bandleader Médard Ferrero.[2] In 1933, he met René "Charley" Bazin, and the two accordionists started improvising, inspired by hearing jazz.[2] This led to Viseur forming his own band in 1935.[2] It played in a variety of styles and recorded four tunes that year.[2] "Viseur had the reeds in his Fratelli Crosio accordion filed down and retuned", which replaced the traditional vibrato of a musette accordion with a more modern sound.[4]

Viseur "was a member of the orchestra led by the pianist Boris Sarbek, then worked in France and Belgium with Philippe Brun, Joseph Reinhardt, and his own quintet".[1] Together with guitarist Baro Ferret, Viseur added elements of swing to traditional musettes that they played from 1938 and into World War II.[5] He had more public attention after recording "L'Accordéoniste" with singer Édith Piaf in 1940.[6]

He toured the United States in 1963, then stopped playing and opened a record shop in Le Havre.[1] He started performing again around 1970,[1] and recorded the album Swing Accordéon the following year.[7] Viseur died in Le Havre on 25 August 1974.[1]

Representative recordings[edit]

  • "Flambée montalbanaise"
  • "Joseph, Joseph"
  • "Automne"
  • "Confessin'"
  • "Douce joie"
  • "Josette"
  • "L'imprévu" (with Joseph Colombo)
  • "Nuit de Paris" (with Tony Muréna)
  • "Soir de dispute"
  • "Souvenir de Bruxelles"
  • "Swing accordéon"
  • "Swing-valse" (with Pierre "Baro" Ferret)
  • "La valse des niglos"
  • "Le Bal du p'tit jardin"
  • "Jeannette"
  • "46ème avenue"
  • "5 Juin"
  • "El Victor"
  • "Lorsque Django jouait"
  • "De Clichy à Broadway"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ These details are from Grove.[1] Dregni gives his name as "Joseph Gustave Viseur" and his date of birth as 15 May 1915.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pernet, Robert (2003). "Viseur, Gus(tave Joseph)". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.J468300.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dregni 2008, p. 155.
  3. ^ Johnson, Zac. "Gus Viseur". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  4. ^ Dregni 2008, pp. 155–156.
  5. ^ Dregni 2008, pp. 99–100, 156.
  6. ^ Dregni 2008, p. 157.
  7. ^ Dregni 2008, p. 161.


  • Dregni, Michael (2008). Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-531192-1.