Celebrating an Underappreciated French Free Jazz Piano Avatar

Now 82, Paris-based François Tusques was, in the early 1960s, one of the first musicians to play Free Jazz in France, and Bandcamp Daily’s Marcus J. Moore offers a brief but comprehensive rundown of the pianist’s prolific career. An early associate of American trumpeter Don Cherry, Tusques’ recorded his eponymous 1965 Free Jazz session with future local Free Music standard-bearers like saxophonist/clarinetist Michel Portal, trumpeter Bernard Vitet, flutist Francois Jeanneau and bassist Bernard “Beb” Guérin.  Within a few years, the pianist was also moving into other areas, exploring a mixture of improvisation and ethnic musics with the tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen and others; and even composing the sound track for director Jean Rollin’s horror film, La Reine Des Vampires. Tusques is still playing, and while Moore neglects to mention his later day collaborations with younger Gallic stylists such as saxophonist Alexandra Grimal, he does highlight collaborations the pianist has been involved with on and off over a 50 year period featuring pioneering American Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray.