Barney Wilen

Barney Wilen - tenor sax

Barney Wilen made a strong impression on the Paris scene in the mid 1950s. Wilen was a self taught player and became one of Europe's best and more modern saxophonists.

Bernard Jean Wilen, AKA Barney was born March 4, 1937, in Nice to a French mother and an American father. He studied the alto and, at 16, moved to Paris where he played with Henry Renaud, Bobby Jaspar and Jimmy Gourley He grew up mostly on the French Riviera; the family left during World War II but returned upon its conclusion.

According to Wilen himself, he was convinced to become a musician by his mother's friend, the poet Blaise Cendrars. As a teenager he started a youth jazz club in Nice, where he played often. He moved to Paris in the mid-'50s and worked with such American musicians as Bud Powell, Benny Golson, Miles Davis, and J.J. Johnson at the Club St. Germain. He was very fortunate to tour and record with Miles Davis in 1957. This led to him performing on the soundtrack to the Louis Malle film “Lift to the Scaffold” in 1957. The recording won the Prix Louis Delluc the next year.

Two years later in 1960 he performed with Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk on the soundtrack to Roger Vadim's Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He also appeared at the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival, one of the first non-Americans to do so. During the '60s, Wilen explored with free jazz and Indian music. He appeared at the 1967 Berlin Festival and engineered Archie Shepp's 1969 live performance at the Algiers Festival.

Read more
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Photos (1)

Discography

 

Moshi Too -...

Concord Music Group
2012

buy
Dear Prof. Leary

Dear Prof. Leary

Promising Music/MPS
2008

buy
 

Live In Paris 8...

Concord Music Group
2007

buy
Tilt

Tilt

Vogue
1999

buy
 

Barney At The Club...

Concord Music Group
1997

buy
 

Talisman

Concord Music Group
1994

buy

Watch

Similar

Lee Konitz Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Ben Webster Ben Webster
saxophone, tenor
Coleman Hawkins Coleman Hawkins
saxophone, tenor
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan
saxophone, baritone
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
saxophone, tenor
Benny Carter Benny Carter
saxophone, alto
Paul Gonsalves Paul Gonsalves
saxophone, tenor
Bud Shank Bud Shank
saxophone

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.