Jazz Producer Dead at 67

Jazz Producer Dead at 67

(RepublicanView.org) – Jean-Philippe Allard, founder of the jazz division at the PolyGram record company in France, has died at age 67. Allard is credited with increasing jazz popularity, reviving and kickstarting several artists’ careers, and acting as an advocate for musicians. According to a June 9 report from The New York Times, his friend Brian Bachus said he had succumbed to cancer on May 17 after a long remission.

Allard was known and recognized for his unique approach to record production and said he considered performers his co-producers. American jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln, French singer Juliette Gréco, and American pianist Kenny Barron all characterized him as the most musician-friendly producer they had worked with, and in an interview, he described himself as being in the category of “professional listeners.”

Allard’s career began in the 1980s when PolyGram France invited him to work with underrepresented talent and promote their work. He soon expanded his remit and sought out new and upcoming artists, including in the US and Japan. This nurtured new relationships with producers across the world, including a lucrative collaboration contract with producer Kiyoshi Koyama and saxophonist Stan Getz, worth $250,000 – thought to be a considerable amount for a jazz contract at the time.

In 1996, PolyGram appointed Allard to oversee a classical music department, which, together with PolyGram jazz, would go on to become Universal Music France.

Mr. Allard won the SACEM Grand Prix: Publisher of the Year award in 2012 and the Bruce Lundvall Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival two years later. The awards recognized his contributions to music after signing dozens of artists, including Stan Getz, Abbey Lincoln, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Pat Metheny, and Ornette Coleman. The jazz fanatic became President of Editions Universal Music in 2007 and reactivated the Impulse! record label in 2014.

Allard enjoyed an unusual early life and was born in the Saint-Mandé commune in the Île-de-France suburbs of Paris. Inhabited by many artists, musicians, and writers, Saint-Mandé is home to one of France’s most famous Royal palaces, le Chateau de Vincennes.

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