Bill Le Sage

Last updated
Bill Le Sage
Birth nameWilliam A. Le Sage
Born(1927-01-20)20 January 1927
London, England
Died31 October 2001(2001-10-31) (aged 74)
Ealing, West London, England
Genres Jazz
Years active1945–2001

William A. Le Sage (20 January 1927 – 31 October 2001) was a British pianist, vibraphonist, arranger, composer and bandleader.


Early life

Le Sage was born in London on 20 January 1927. [1] His father, William (1899-1951) was a drummer and his two uncles were both musicians (George - trumpet, saxophone and Ernie - guitar). [1] He started playing the ukulele at the age of eight, and drums at fifteen. [1] He was self-taught as a pianist. [1]

Later life and career

Le Sage's career began in 1945, after he had returned to London after being an evacuee in Sussex, when he led a sextet. [1] He was then a member of army bands while serving with the Royal Signals. [1] He played piano for the Johnny Dankworth Seven in March 1950, but soon switched to vibraphone. [2] He left in 1954 to join the various small groups led by the drummer Tony Kinsey, with whom he stayed until 1961. [1] He then joined baritone sax player Ronnie Ross, with whom he co-led various line-ups until 1966. [1] During this period, Le Sage also played with Kenny Baker's Dozen. [1] He began writing music for television and films. [1]

During the 1960s, Le Sage was with Jack Parnell's ATV orchestra, the Chris Barber Band, and led his group, Directions in Jazz. [1] His composer credits included scores for the films The Tell-Tale Heart (1960), Tarnished Heroes (1961), The Silent Invasion (1961), Strip Tease Murder (1963) and The Court Martial of Major Keller (1964). [3]

He accompanied visiting American musicians, including guitarist Tal Farlow, with whom he struck up a close musical partnership, on an annual basis. [1] In 1969, he formed the Bebop Preservation Society quintet, which he continued for more than two decades. [1] Le Sage also worked with Barbara Thompson's Jubiaba and others. [1] [2] During the 1990s, he occasionally played with pianist Tony Lee's group on vibraphone.

He died in London on 31 October 2001. [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Chilton, John (2004). Who's Who of British Jazz (2nd ed.). Continuum. pp.  219–220. ISBN   978-0-8264-7234-2.
  2. 1 2 "Bill Le Sage". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  3. "Bill Le Sage". Retrieved 24 November 2018.