Jazz producer and musician advocate Jean-Philippe Allard dies at 67


From the beginning, his interests were far removed from the ideals of the professional middle class. As a teenager, he read Rimbaud’s poetry and the memoirs of the famous jazz hippie Metz Metzrow. He listened to Bessie Smith, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin; wore North African shawls; and once put his head in his hands at the family dinner table and shouted, “I will never work!”

Although he was very smart, he was expelled from one high school, dropped out of another, and started working part-time. (While working as an ambulance driver at Charles de Gaulle Airport, he pushed the wheelchairs of Jean-Paul Sartre and Charles Mingus.) Outside of work, he played bass in a rock band and opened a discotheque with friends and restaurant, which they operated for two years. He and fellow founder Christine Corbett eventually married.

She is survived by his daughter Céline Allard and his brother Jean-Marc. Mr. Allard was preceded in death by his son, Pablo;

After working in the classical music division of French record and electronics chain Fnac, he was hired by the French company Polygram’s classical division. When company executives decided to create a jazz department, he reminded them that he didn’t know much about classical music but was fascinated by jazz. They put him in charge of starting the department.

In 2007, with PolyGram now owned by Universal Music Group, Mr. Allard was promoted to run all of Universal Music France’s recording and publishing divisions. He relaunched Impulse! Records, a once-mighty jazz label that went dormant at Universal in 2014, released the Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein Hot Nine, pianist Sullivan Fortner and Rodney Kendry Grams (Ms. Lincoln’s former accompanist), Mr. Harden, and others.

He left Universal Pictures in 2017 and founded his own artist management company, Le Bureau des Artistes, which mainly works with French pop and hip-hop musicians. In late 2022, he founded the independent label Artwork Records.



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