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Album Review

CBS attempts to summarize Claude Bolling's voluminous output of classical/jazz suites with Bolling's Greatest Hits, a single disc of excerpts from eight of them. All of the CBS issues up to 1987 except Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Piano Trio are represented; the list of classical collaborators is impressive — Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maurice Andre, Alexander Lagoya, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman. Along with Bolling's changing French rhythm sections, American jazzmen like Hubert Laws, Bud Shank, Chuck Domanico, and Shelly Manne are here as well. While CBS' mad programmer manages to choose the best cut on the Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio ("Baroque in Rhythm"), the most famous numbers on the First Suite ("Baroque and Blue," "Sentimentale"), and the most astonishing piece in the Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio, Vol. 2 ("Jazzy"), the Toot Suite is poorly represented by "Mystique" and "Rag-Polka." Yet this disc will give you the basic idea about Bolling's likable mergers of idioms, and casual browsers may not need anything else. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Buy the originals

Anyone who knows Bolling's work would agree to buy the entire suites. His work is brilliant, and combines classical and jazz like no other. Do not buy this album, get the originals. Well worth it.

Simply Incredible

I bought this album 20 years ago when it was released. It’s amazing how the delicate and precise classical work is combined harmoniously with tight straight-on jazz. 20 years later and I’m still amazed. You will never get tired of this – it’s brilliant. Claude Bolling’s musical genus and the arrangements will make a lasting impression. You will recommend it to your friends and you will look for more. Unique and diverse, it’s quite at times and then there’s a quick turn and the music jumps out at you. The 30 second preview clips are (unfortunately) too short to get the real sense of ear candy that is contained in this CD.


Born: April 10, 1930 in Cannes, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Pianist, composer, producer, and bandleader Claude Bolling enjoyed his first successes as a kingpin in the mainland European trad jazz movement of the 1950s and '60s. A skilled pianist who was heavily influenced by Duke Ellington, Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines, and Art Tatum, he also persisted in performing ragtime and old-style jazz during the years when U.S. and European pop culture was dominated by Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Beginning in 1975, Bolling created his own personal micro-genre of classical...
Full Bio

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