Released in 2003, Allegretto from Symphony No. 7, Theme and Variations features pianist Loussier in a trifecta alongside bassist Ben Dunoyer de Segonzac and drummer André Arpino interpreting ten variations on the Allegretto portion of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. For those unfamiliar, the term Allegretto (translated as "rather fast") refers to the composition's tempo, encompassing a speed of less than 120 but exceeding 108 measures per minute. As he had done in prior outings that incorporated the respective works of Bach, Debussy, and Handel, among others, Loussier approaches the composition with an ear toward the third stream, blending classical pieces to a decidedly jazz orientation.
Groundbreaking work from pianist Jacques Loussier – a hip mix of jazz music and classical themes that set a whole new standard for the 60s! Loussier's a very dynamic pianist who's clearly got classical roots – but he also manages to make these older tunes swing with a good degree of jazz-based energy – working with bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Christian Garros, in a trio setting that brings plenty of modern moments to compositions by Joahan Sebastian Bach! This well-selected CD features 15 tracks pulled from the first five Play Bach albums by Jacques – titles that include "Fantasia In C Minor", "Choral No 1", "Toccata & Fugue In D Minor", "Prelude No 1 In C Major", "Aria", "Gigue", "Italian Concerto In F Major Allegro", and "Fugue No 2 In C Minor".
The CD is a return to the Trio’s roots in Bach via a new jazz interpretation of the entire six Brandenburg Concertos, in order. But this time a rather new approach is in the works. As described by Loussier himself: “Whereas my older recordings were about adding to Bach, this record is about reducing his music to its essence, taking the main themes and working with them as any jazz musician might in playing a theme, an improvisation, and a return to the theme.”
Live concert in celebration of Loussier's 70th birthday. In performance in Bach's 'own' church, St Thomas's in Leipzig. A rare example of a commercially successful jazz artist. In fifteen years, the Jacquees Loussier trio sold over six million albums. Bonus feature: Jacques Loussier in Conversation…