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Henri Renaud

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Henri Renaud gained a strong reputation in the 1950s, organizing and playing on dates with many top American jazzmen who were visiting France. Renaud started on the violin when he was five, switching to piano three years later. After moving to Paris in 1946, Renaud played with tenor saxophonist Jean-Claude Fohrenbach's group, accompanying such players as Don Byas, James Moody, and Roy Eldridge during 1949-1950. In 1952 he put together his own band, which at different times worked with Lester Young, Sarah Vaughan, and Clifford Brown. Brown recorded extensively with Renaud in 1953. In 1954 Renaud went to the United States and made a series of records (producing and playing piano) with such top American greats as Milt Jackson, J.J. Johnson, Al Cohn, Oscar Pettiford, Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Bob Brookmeyer; most of the records were released on the Vogue or Swing labels. Renaud visited New York in 1959 (playing with Philly Joe Jones) but soon returned to Paris, where he worked with Kenny Clarke and Buck Clayton. In 1964 he became the head of French CBS' jazz division and began producing shows for radio and television, and he largely stopped playing piano, remaining active as a record producer for decades. ~ Scott Yanow

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20 April 1925 in Villedieu-sur-Indre, France

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s