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Jean Musy

Jean MusyJean Musy  was born on December 18, 1947 in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret. He began playing piano at a very early age (3 - 4 years) by listening to the radio and record player. He initially had no musical training.
Musy played throughout his childhood and was eventually introduced to jazz. His early influences were Bud Powell, Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles and, perhaps most importantly, Hammond organ pioneer Jimmy Smith. Musy, himself, began to play the Hammond organ and was soon playing jazz clubs like "Chat qui peche" and "Les rois maillets" . Musy was, at the time, barely in his teens.
At age 15 Musy was discovered by the American rhythm and blues guitarist Mickey Baker. With Baker he played jazz concerts in France and abroad. Acting on a tip from Baker, Musy auditioned for the French singer Nino Ferrer, whose organist, Bernard Estardy, needed replacing. Musy won the audition and recorded his first album, "Je voudrais etre noir", in 1965. He played approximately 200 concerts with Ferrer. 

Jean Musy plays - "Breaking My Soul" / "Old Man River" / "Sad...I Am" / "Dany's Cope"

Musy soon thereafter began to realize that he preferred the writing of music to performing and began musical studies in orchestration. This led eventually to the composing of symphonies.
Less than one year after playing with Ferrer, Musy was again tipped off by Mickey Baker about a young singer who was seeking an organist/ pianist. Musy met this singer and immediately felt a connection. It was Joe Dassin. He left the Nino Ferrer orchestra and began to perform with Dassin.
One day in 1968, Dassin invited Musy to write an orchestration. It was a "simple" arrangement of four instruments. Musy accepted the challenge and despite the fear and uncertainty managed to complete the song. The song was "Les Champs Elysee"  and it became an enormous success. 
Bolstered by this success, Musy began to follow the path of arranging and orchestrating, which he obviously has not strayed from to this day.

John (Jean) Musy "Rock Steady" (1969)

Musy will go on to carry out approximately 2000 orchestrations for singers and composers including Jeanne Moreau, Gipsy Kings, George Moustaki, Anna Prucnal, Demis Roussos, Francoise Hardy, Serge Reggiani, Veronique Sanson, Gilbert Becaud, Mireille Mathieu, and Nicole Croisille, among others. 
In addition he will compose for the cinema ("Clair de femme", "Chanel Solitaire", Recidive", "Vanille fraise", "La couer a l'evers", "L'ange noir", "Les fausses confidences", to name a few) and television ("Pause café").

Jean Musy - Le coeur d'une femme

Perhaps most notable is Musy's involvement with French composer Francis Lai, for whom he arranged numerous soundtracks and chansons for in the late 1970's. Musy's distinctive synthesizer and orchestral flavourings propelled Lai to even greater successes.
Here is a partial listing of his soundtrack arrangements for Francis Lai: "Bilitis", "Les uns et les autres", "Robert et Robert", "Mariage", "Le bon et les mechants", "International Velvet", "Beyond the Reef", "Les Ringards", "Oliver's Story", "Passion Flower Hotel", "Les Borsalini", "A nous deux", "Paris-New York" (non-soundtrack). 

Jean Musy - Rien qu'un soupir (1977)

~   Biography kindly written by Michael Thomas Roe   ~  

For more information visit Musy's official website:   Jean Musy


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