Michel de Villers

Michel de Villers (1926-1992) was one of the most influential French reed players in modern jazz, known by most of his fellow musicians by his nickname: “Low reed.” From a very young age, de Villers excelled on alto sax and clarinet. After gaining the attention of fans and musicians as an amateur, he was hired by Django Reinhardt in 1946. Shortly afterwards he began recording as a leader, improvising with cohesive drive and swinging passion, with a clear tone and vocabulary straight from the leading swing alto players —Benny CarterWillie Smith and Johnny Hodges.

Looking to achieve a more modern sound, he adopted the baritone as his main instrument in 1949, swinging authoritatively with a muscular fullness of tone, but with the initial fierceness of his attack tempered by the cool influence, of Bird first, and Gerry Mulligan later. His skills as a soloist and improviser earned him a...

Read more

Michel de Villers Albums

1 record