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Claude Bolling

In an earlier post, I wrote about the influence of baroque on the development of progressive-electronic music (see “On the lookout for electro-baroque und beethoven“). After listening to some recommended albums by The Nice and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, I realized that I had totally forgotten to mention Claude Bolling.

Beginning in the mid-70s when all of the rest of this was percolating, Bolling burst onto the classical and jazz scene with these incredible albums featuring classical melodies and instrumentation with jazz drum accompaniment and swinging rhythms.

Compare “Bourrée” by Jethro Tull side by side Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio (1975) and you’ll hear the progressive connection immediately. (I despair to think the reason I hadn’t sooner was because these genre classifications: classical, jazz, rock, have taken root.)

I’d especially recommend Picnic Suite (1981), Toot Suite (1981), Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio (1984), and Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio (1984). You can easily spot Bolling’s albums in thrift and used record store bins. The airbrushed cover art is all by Roger Huyssen. See below for Huyssen’s artwork for Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio.

If you find you like Bolling’s classical compositions, check out his catchy score to the Italian TV series Borsalino and Co. (1970) and his rags album Ragtime Boogie-Woogie (1970). (no shuggie).

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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