b. 23 May 1939, Lyon, Rhône, France, d. 14 November 2004, Santa Monica, California, USA. From the age of six, Colombier was taught piano, harmony, counterpoint and conducting by his father. Before he reached his teens he had begun to improvise and was soon playing in jazz groups for which he wrote arrangements. Meanwhile, he continued studying with his father, in particular church organ and Gregorian chant. Service in the French Army did not interrupt his music, and he continued to perform in a wide range of groups and also to pursue his interest in composing and arranging. In 1961/2 he studied with avant garde composer Michel Magne and then became musical director of Barclay Records, where he arranged Charles Aznavour’s first English-language album. He was also active in writing jingles for numerous television commercials. From the mid-60s onwards through the rest of his life, Colombier was best known for his work in films. First in France and then in the USA, he wrote cues, themes, songs and complete scores, working on dozens of projects.
Among the films and television programmes to which Colombier contributed the scores are Un Monde Nouveau (1966), Backtrack! (1969), Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), Paul And Michelle (1974), Le Couple Témoin (1977), Against All Odds and Purple Rain (both 1984), The Money Pit and Ruthless People (both 1986), Cop and Satisfaction (both 1988), Who’s Harry Crumb? and Astérix Et Le Coup Du Menhir (both 1989), Impulse and Buried Alive (both 1990), New Jack City (1991), Posse (1993), Élisa (1995), Barb Wire and Foxfire (both 1996), Screwed (2000), Messiah (2001), and Swept Away (2002). Along with jazz musicians such as Peter Erskine and Jaco Pastorius, Colombier appeared on recordings of his own music, including Wings (1970) and Old Fool Back On Earth (1979). Colombier died of cancer in November 2004.