JM-Greats - Henri Crolla
Originally born in Neapels/Campania (Italy) into a familyof well known neapolitanian musicians, he immigrated with his family in 1922 due to the upcoming fashism system in italy to Port de Choisy in France.
One of his neighbours there was the family of young Django Reinhardt with whom he made friends soon.
Later on Henri Crolla just played some few Live-concerts with Django, but never worked for recording-sessions with him.
Although he made early acquaintance with Jacques Prévert and as well played at young age in the parisian Cafés and Jazzclubs like the La Boîte à Sardines, where also people like Coleman Hawkins was playing sometimes.
The second worldwar broke his carreer, beeing mobilized by the Army in Italy he had to quit playing, thus moving back to Italy. But he deserted from the Army and went back to France. During the waryears he was working in serveral jobs to make a living, just playing few locations as musician. Just in 1946 his french citizenship was confirmed, so he stayed there.
In the 1940/50ies he worked in the french "after war" Jazzscene, for example with people like Stephane Grappelli, André Hodeir, the Bassplayer Emmanuel Soudieux and the Pianist Léo Chauliac as of Singer Yves Montand, which he accompanied from 1947 to 1953 and again playing for him in 1957/58. In 1954/55 he played in the Club Saint Germain with Grappelli and Soudieux.
In 1955 Henri Crolla did first recording-sessions under his own name for the french Label Vèga, together with musicians like Martial Solal, Georges Arvanitas and Soudieux mitwirkten. Besides that Henri Crolla worked as a composer for Filmmusic; together with André Hodeir he wrote music for films of Jean Gabin, Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot.
Between 1955 and 1958 he was recorsing different kinds of music such as Jazz, Filmmusic and popular music, made concerts with Yves Montand as a tour into the Sowjetunion; in 1956 he had his first apereance in a film as actor/comedian of Grimault and Pierre Prévert. In 1958 he is taking part with the Django Reinhardt-Hommage Notre Ami Django with Grappelli and Hubert Rostaing and some guests worshipping the dead guitarrist. Other actors in this project were Roger Guérin, René Urtreger, Géo Daly, Pierre Lemarchand, Al Levitt, Emmanuel Soudieux and Christian Garros.
The more in 1958 a Film made by Paul Paviot about the "Hommage à Django en 58", in which also Hubert Rostaing, Joseph Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and Crolla were appearing. By his friendship with the family Prévert he was more and more involved in the filmbusiness; by the end of 1958 he had a bigger apearance in a movie of Henri Fabiani (Le bonheur est pour demain). Crolla died at the end of a Tour just at the age of 40 years. (Source: Wikipedia)
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