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Bass great Pierre Michelot dead at 77

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PARIS (AP) - Jazz bassist Pierre Michelot, who recorded with Miles Davis and arranged music for Chet Baker, has died, a fellow musician said Monday. He was 77.

The bass player, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died in Paris on Sunday, said pianist Rene Urtreger, a member of Michelot's longtime jazz trio, HUM.

Michelot played with Davis on one of the great soundtracks of the 1950s, for Louis Malle's classic thriller Ascenseur pour L'Echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). He recorded with artists including Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and Django Reinhardt, and he arranged music for Baker's 1955-56 Barclay sessions in Paris.

Michelot was considered Europe's best jazz bassist in the second half of the 1950s, Urtreger said.

“He had a magnificent natural sound, clear, deep and true," Urtreger said. “It was a dream to play with him."

Originally trained in classical piano, Michelot learned bass as a teenager, then performed for American troops stationed in France after the end of the Second World War. He was highly sought-after for concerts by American musicians in Paris in the postwar years.

Michelot had a role in French director Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film Round Midnight, about a musician on the skids in 1950s Paris.

-- Associated Press

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