Prolific since the '60s in French pop and musical theater, Christian Chevallier also has decades of experience as a jazzman, starting out with a New Orleans jazz outfit playing a French venue called the Kentucky Club and an alliance with the expatriate swing genius tenor saxophonist Don Byas. Chevallier's family had a strong musical tradition, his father a pianist and his mother a vocalist. As a young man Chevallier began with formal studies at the Nante Conservatory, his mastering of theory, counterpoint, and arranging coinciding with the Nazi occupation of France, ending shortly before his country's inevitable liberation.
Trad jazz beckoned by the end of the decade and Byas became the leader of a pickup rhythm section at the infamous Tabou venue in the early '50s, in which the pianist was a regular. Chevallier continued occupying the piano bench in various jazz combos in the next...Read more