He accompanied Piaf, Montand, Barbara, Greco, Bécaud… and Brel, who was immortalized in Vesoul , with its famous “Heats up, Marcel!”. Because it is he, Marcel Azzola, the famous accordionist who takes us in a crescendo and furious, from Vierzon to Vesoul, from Antwerp to Hamburg.

“READ ALSO – fifty years ago, Brel immortalisait Vesoul: the town remembers.

” READ ALSO – Marcel Azzola: “Verchuren was the king of his instrument”

Forty years after the death of Jacques Brel, October 9, 1978, the musician, who also was given a rating of accordion at the musical theme of the film Vincent, François, Paul and the others tells The e Figaro the memory of his recordings with the Great Jacques and all these moments of friendships past to the zinc of a harbor to remake the world.

LE FIGARO. – How did you meet Jacques Brel?

Marcel AZZOLA. – I saw James for the first time in 1958 during the recording of some of his songs by Simone Langlois, who with Juliette Greco will be interpreted the texts of jacques Brel when not many people believed in him. I knew at the time, François Rauber who’orchestrait his melodies. It is he who years later, in 1968, reminded me to work on Vesoul, and the other tracks from the album I can as Beer and The Ostendaise .

Brel was-it really need an accordion player?

Yes, because James had a fondness for the accordion. In his music he kept his soul of a sailor and the accordion gives a scenery dock, a backdrop of ocean, a setting throbbing. For him, this instrument was essential. I remember that the registration of Beer, we did it again three times. Do you remember the chorus It smells like beer from London to Berlin It smells like beer god that is good… he wanted the words flow, you results. Rauber and jacques Brel were sacred perfectionists, and they were right.

Who has suggested your name for the successor to Jean Corti, the accordionist historic tours of Brel?

I believe that it is precisely John who spoke to me at François Rauber. Corti was one of my buddies and there was not anyone to the clan Brel. It was he who had signed the compositions, often with the pianist Gérard Jouannest, the songs on Old, Madeleine , Toros … it was not nothing.

How did the idea of this famous Heater “Marcel! Heater” comes to the idea of Brel?

It is important to understand that even when records James as the on-scene played to the background of the story of his song. Vesoul is a crescendo. And it is the acceleration of the flow and the accordion which produces this effect. When Brel asked me to heat up, he said to himself that he is going to heat up. It is a work of a conductor. Later, I was told that he had borrowed this idea from Gérard Rinaldi, the leader of the Chariot. This reference proves that you can compose great songs and to keep their sense of humor.

Have you seen Jacques Brel after Vesoul?

Yes, I worked again with him for The Marquise , in 1977. Here, the accordion is an instrument less important background in the orchestration. I have to say that I had come to the records a bit for James, even when I had to play. We were not friends but our relations were fraternal. Sometimes after the studio, we started drinking shots in the bays. We spoke of all things of nothing, jazz, airplanes, boats. And even when we do not speak, it was good. That was the magic of James.

“Chauffe Marcel, Chauffe!”, Brel sings Vesoul accompanied by the accordionist Marcel Azzola

studio Version of the Vesoul of Jacques Brel, Marcel Azzola on accordion

Beer Jacques Brel, the accordion-Marcel Azzola

A tribute to Marcel Azzola to Django Reinhardt

Marcel Azzola, accordion music of the film by Claude protestant redemption church Vincent, François, Paul and the others composed by Philippe Sarde