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Claude Bolling, popular jazz-classical musician, dead at 90

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 1, 2021

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Claude Bolling, the French pianist, composer and arranger who attained a worldwide following through his melodic blend of jazz and classical influences and stayed on the Billboard classical charts for more than a decade with his 1975 album “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano,” has died.

Bolling’s representatives announced on his website that he died Tuesday in Garches, France, at age 90. A cause of death was not provided.

A lifelong admirer of Duke Ellington, the Cannes native was a professional musician by his teens and over the following decades would perform with everyone from Lionel Hampton to Yo-Yo Ma. He arranged music for Brigitte Bardot and Juliette Greco among others, wrote soundtracks for hundreds of French film and television productions and his compositions could be heard on such American releases as “The Holiday” and “Joker.”

Bolling’s three Grammy nominations included one for best chamber music for “Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano,” a collaboration with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal which featured the playful “Baroque and Blue” and the more reflective “Irlandaise” and sold more than 1 million copies. He would later collaborate with Angel Romero on “Concerto for Classic Guitar and Jazz Piano” and with Yo-Yo Ma on “Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio.” In 1984, Bolling was joined by American flutist Hubert Laws for a performance on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

Bolling’s wife of 48 years, journalist Irène Dervize-Sadyker, died in 2017. They had two sons, David and Alexandre.

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