Bassist Pierre Michelot Dies

Bassist Pierre Michelot, who played with the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, died Sunday at age of 77. His death followed his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Michelot was born in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, in 1928. While he was originally trained on piano, he started studying bass at age 16 and was soon performing for American troops stationed in France after the end of World War II. By the end of the 1950s, he was considered Europe’s best bassist and played with many musicians throughout his life. Some of his more notable accompaniments were with Rex Stewart (1948), Coleman Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, Don Byas, Thelonious Monk, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Bud Powell (in a trio with Kenny Clarke), Zoot Sims, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Chet Baker.

His playing was also featured on the soundtrack to Louis Malle’s 1957 film Ascenseur Pour l’Échafaud (released as Frantic in the United States) and appeared in the French director Bertrand Tavernier’s 1986 film, Round Midnight.