R.I.P., Claude Bolling

Not just another jazz album.

Damn, I don’t know how I managed to overlook Claude Bolling’s departure. He and Jean-Pierre Rampal helped spark my interest in jazz way back when.

I got in by way of what they called “fusion” — outfits like The Crusaders, Weather Report, Pat Metheny Group, Return to Forever;  individuals like Stanley Turrentine and Grover Washington Jr.; and so on.

Some classical and jazz purists turned up their snoots at this sort of thing, but I loved it. Being a flutist of sorts myself I instantly found a connection with the Bolling-Rampal collaboration, right down to the whimsical cartoon album covers.

Bolling himself seemed to have a playful nature, and he resisted attempt to categorize what he was doing musically.

Mr. Bolling’s compositions were sometimes described as “combining” jazz and classical music, but he had a different view.

“I don’t like the word ‘combination,’” he said in 1982 in an interview for The Syracuse New Times, a weekly paper. “This is simply a dialogue between two kinds of music. I have made nothing new. This has been going on for a long time.”

His music will do likewise, no matter what the snobs say.

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7 Responses to “R.I.P., Claude Bolling”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Pat Metheny Group.. Got me through the third worst year of grad school. I won’t bore you with the first and second worst years…

    But way back in ’85, after the accident, after the divorce, and when I was supposed to be finishing, I had one of those “crisis of confidence” years. The divorce was signed, I got kicked out of my apartment, and fell apart. So moved in with two other grad students and a new postdoc, Paul, who was running the microprobe lab and a Metheny fan. I got seriously into fusion jazz and folk music courtesy of Paul’s collection.

    Taped a bunch of his records. One was As Falls Wichita, So Falls Witchita Falls. In the middle I buggered the recording with a minute of a newscast from NPR by hitting the wrong source button and then back to the music. Somehow it seemed to work better than the original so I kept it. That is, until all those tapes started failing.

    Sigh. Another one bites the dust.

  2. JD Says:

    Sad news indeed. I never knew Jean Pierre Rampal did jazz … always associate him w/classical. Some real talent in that group.

    Give a listen:

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Flute? I would go see these folks play anytime.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Lyle Mays died last year, too.

  5. claude bolling: no podemos dejar de estar locos por el jazz - LO + 45 Says:

    […] Origen: R.I.P., Claude Bolling […]

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