Barney Wilen, saxophonist
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers
birth name: Bernard Jean Wilen

Barney Wilen

March 4, 1937, Nice, France ~ May 25, 1996, Paris, France

Wilen made his name when Miles Davis chose him to play in a group he was fronting in Europe in 1957. But Wilen had already garnered a reputation with visiting Americans for a considerably accomplished technique and a real mastery of hard-bop forms. ~ Barney Wilen ~ retrieved June 21, 2013 ©

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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. His emerging reputation received a boost in 1957 when he played with Davis on the soundtrack to the Louis Malle film Lift To The Scaffold. Two years later, he performed with Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk on the soundtrack to Roger Vadim's Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1960). ~ Allmusic: Barney Wilen ~ retrieved June 21, 2013 © Allmusic

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