Jacques Loussier Trio

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The Jacques Loussier Trio was a French Third Stream jazz piano trio that became known for their Jazz interpretations of European classical music.[1] They were commonly known in France as "le trio Play Bach" after the title of their first LPs.[2][3]

The trio was formed in 1959 by French pianist Jacques Loussier, bass player Pierre Michelot, and percussionist Christian Garros. They reworked mostly Baroque music, in particular by Johann Sebastian Bach, but also Vivaldi and other composers, to fit their own style and instruments.

The group was commercially successful but less popular with critics and jazz purists. They toured Germany in 1966.[4]

In 1985, Jacques Loussier formed a new trio with percussionist André Arpino, and double-bassist Vincent Charbonnier. In 1997 the latter role was taken over by Benoît Dunoyer de Segonzac.

Discography (selection)[edit]

  • 1959: Play Bach no. 1
  • 1960: Play Bach no. 2
  • 1961: Play Bach no. 3
  • 1963: Play Bach no. 4
  • 1967: Play Bach no. 5
  • 1997: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
  • 1998: Satie: Gymnopédies - Gnossiennes
  • 1999: Bach's Goldberg Variations
  • 1999: Ravel's Bolero
  • 1999: The Bach Book - 40th Anniversary Album
  • 2000: Take Bach
  • 2001: Baroque Favorites
  • 2002: Handel: Water Music & Royal Fireworks


  1. ^ Billboard - 13 Aug 1966 - Page 51 "JAZZ SPECIAL MERIT PLAY BACH Jacques Loussier Trio. London LL 3454/5 (M) Exciting interpretations of Bach's Preludes Nos. 1, 2 and 12 in an idiom that straddles the jazz and classical fields. Loussier's free-flowing arrangements ..."
  2. ^ Vie musicale - Issues 5-13 1967 - Page 27 "Ce n'est rien cependant à côté du trio Play Bach de Jacques Loussier, Christian Garros et Pierre Michelot. Ceux-ci s'attaquent au texte même de Bach, entrelardent quelques phrases authentiques de soi- disant variations en jazz d'une ..."
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia universalis France Universalia: les événements, les hommes, les problèmes en ... 2006- Page 111 "En 1959, avec le pianiste Jacques Loussier et le batteur Christian Garros, il forme le trio Play Bach, qui offre des interprétations swinguées de thèmes de Jean-Sébastien Bach, dénigrées par les puristes mais qui connaîtront une immense ...
  4. ^ Billboard - 26 Nov 1966 - Page 48 Vol. 78, No. 48 "BONN — The Bonn government has endorsed the current tour of West Germany by the Jacques Loussier Trio as a "noteworthy contribution to Franco-German cultural understanding." The government is pleased because the' French trio is not.."