Elek Bacsik


Born on May 22, 1926 in Budapest, Elek Bacsik, was from gypsy origin. He studied the violin at the Conservatory of the Hungarian capital. Then he had taught himself the guitar by 1945. He had got a solid musical background. He discovered Be Bop in 1949 when he was playing in Bern with Hazy Osterwald. The first big influence on Elek was Tal Farlow.

Elek Bacsik came in Paris in 1959 after having crossed Europe from Switzerland to Portugal, playing even in the Middle East in Beyrouth Lebanon. In Paris he felt that Jazz was playing a big role in the musical life. He joined the Art Simmons’ Trio alongside Michel Gaudry, on bass and A.Simmons on piano. The trio was resident at the Mars Club, which a must for all the American Jazzmen touring in Europe.

In February 1962, Elek went into the recording studio. Michel Gaudry or Pierre Michelot, and Kenny Clarke or Daniel Humair supported him alternatively on bass and drums. They built together a tremendous rhythm section reinforced by Bacsik re recording techniques. Elek Bacsik had found his own style without imitating Django, by making a synthesis of various influences such as Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Wes Montgomery, Howard Roberts and also two marginals George van Eps and Laurindo Almeida.

In July 1962 he made a triumph in the festival of Antibes Juan Les Pins. It was there that he crossed Dizzy Gillespie, who invited him to play in two tracks as he was recording his album Dizzy on the French Riviera.

Then Elek Bacsik became a session man playing with serge Gainsbourg in his album “confidentiel” making a brilliant performance in songs like la saison des pluies. In the summer 1963 he played at the Palm Beach in Cannes and then backed Jeanne Moreau for a record and later Claude Nougaro for a couple of records. Elek Bacsik was becoming a star, when decided to go to the United States, where he stayed a while in Los Angeles and then went in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately his fame did not cross the Atlantic Ocean. He started in the casinos and then fell down in the nightclubs. He backed the singer Teresa Brewer when her husband Bob Thiele noticed him. He seemed to get out of the anonymity, making two albums I love you in 1973 and Bird and Dizzy/a musical tribute, followed by an appearance at the Newport N.Y.Jazz Festival. But that was it, he then disappeared definitely. As Marc Fosset, an excellent guitarist, explained in Jazz swing journal (August 1987): he was ahead of his time. He was the first to come up with an intelligent compromise between the gypsy soul and the American style”

He left this excellent 10 tracks reissued on CD in 1988 by Polygram and still available, with a superb cover of take five and a very original cover of Nuages.

Jean BACHELERIE, after Alain Tercinet (Polygram CD booklet, 1988)

Retour vers : Non classé