b. France. While studying classical clarinet and alto saxophone at Toulouse Conservatory, Tissendier began playing jazz. His interests followed a chronological path, starting with New Orleans music, passing through the mainstream into bop. In 1977 he joined the big band led by Claude Bolling and also worked with Gerard Badini and others. In the early 80s he taught at the Paris School of Jazz and in 1983 formed a sextet especially to recreate the music of John Kirby. In demand for club and festival dates, the band won many awards for both live performances and records. In 1987 Tissendier formed Saxomania, a seven-piece band featuring two alto saxophones, two tenors and three rhythm. Once again he won honours and gained invaluable experience and exposure accompanying visiting American jazzmen including Benny Carter, Buddy Tate, Jimmy Witherspoon and Spike Robinson, with some of whom he also recorded. Tissendier’s alto playing is striking for its intensity and driving swing and the high musical standards displayed by the Saxomania band ably demonstrate that his is a major talent.
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