Live and act
Sacha Distel was born the son of a Russian-Jewish chemical engineer. His father Léon, a former tsarist officer, fled Russia to France in 1918. The mother Andrée Ventura, a pianist, came from a Jewish Parisian family. Distel began taking piano lessons at the age of five; his first piano teacher was his uncle Ray Ventura . In 1942 Sacha's Jewish mother was taken to a labor camp by the German occupiers and only found her son after the war. The father hid the nine-year-old Sacha in a priestly school in Laval , had him registered as Alexandre Ditel and went into hiding himself. At the age of 15, Sacha switched to the guitar; his guitar teacher was Henri Salvador . Sacha Distel's professional musical career began when he was 16 years old. Nevertheless, he studied philosophy, but at the same time established himself as a jazz guitarist and, under the impression of a concert by Dizzy Gillespie in 1948, switched to modern jazz .
With Mimi Perrin , Jean-Marie Ingrand and Jean-Louis Viale Distel founded his first band; then he worked in Paris jazz clubs with Art Simmons and Pierre Michelot . Since 1950 he has been part of Gérard Gustin's trio . During a stay in New York, Distel took lessons from Jimmy Raney and then worked in Paris with Barney Wilen and Bobby Jaspar . In 1953 he was named the best guitarist in France . In 1954 he accompanied Billie Holiday , Clifford Brown and Kenny Clarke . In the following years he recorded with Lionel Hampton ( Crazy Rhythm , 1955), Jean-Pierre Sasson ( Two Guitar Blues , 1956) and John Lewis ( Afternoon in Paris , 1958). He also worked with Henri Renaud , Stan Getz , Tony Bennett and the Modern Jazz Quartet and was also the musical accompanist of the chansonnière Juliette Gréco .
From 1958 he concentrated on the chanson. He became known to a wider audience with hits like Raindrops Keep Fallin 'on My Head (Toute la pluie tombe sur moi) and Scoubidou (Les scoubidous, 1958). Were also popular La belle vie and Le soleil de ma vie , which he in duet with Brigitte Bardot singing with which he a one-year love affair entertained. From 1962, songs such as Adios Amigo , The Place Next to Me , The Woman with the Lonely Heart , Women and Roses , A Woman 's Friend and Misunderstood top places in the hit parades of German-language radio stations. Distel also appeared with Adios Amigo in the 1963 hit film Sing, but don't play with me .
In 1968 Distel returned to jazz and recorded an album with Slide Hampton ( Bird ). At the Sanremo Festival in 1968 he took part with the song No amore on the side of Giusy Romeo . In the early 1970s, Sacha Distel still had some big hits such as Bonjour Barbara , What you love you hold tight , Sun and love , She stays with us, the old lady or The fair in Paris . In total, the singer, famous for his charm, recorded around two hundred tracks in several world languages with his slightly smoky voice, as he published records in English, Italian, Spanish and German versions in addition to his mother tongue. Pieces composed by him were a. a. sung by Frank Sinatra , Petula Clark and Dionne Warwick . His title Le Sifflet ("Die Trillerpfeife") was translated into German by Hans Bradtke as Wie ein Tiger and published by Peggy March on her 1970 album Mein Lied for Peggy .
He published his album My Own Blues in 1983. He published his memoirs in 1985 under the title Les pendules à l'heure . In 1993 he put together a large orchestra to pay homage to the collégiens (students) of his uncle Ray Ventura, who was followed two years later by Swinguer la vie . In 2001 he appeared in the London production of the musical Chicago in the role of lawyer Billy Flynn.
In addition to his musical career, he also appeared in a few films in the 1960s and 1970s and hosted a variety show on French television from 1962 to 1972 . Distel had been married to the skier Francine Bréaud since 1963 .
Distel is mentioned in the song Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) by Peter Sarstedt from 1969.
He died of cancer on July 22, 2004 at the age of 71.
- Philippe Carles , André Clergeat , Jean-Louis Comolli (eds.): Le nouveau dictionnaire du jazz , Ed. Robert Laffont, Paris, 2011; ISBN 9782221115923 .
- Sacha Distel in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Sacha Distel at Allmusic (English)
- Biography at Taurus Press
- Obituary in The Guardian
- YouTube: Ma premiere guitare
- Chart sources: DE UK FR
|DATE OF BIRTH
|January 29, 1933
|PLACE OF BIRTH
|DATE OF DEATH
|July 22, 2004
|Place of death
|Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer , France