d : March 6, 1947, Bagnères de Luchon
Violinist, arranger & composer.
Michel Warlop is probably, with Stéphane Grappelli and Eddie South, the greatest swing violin player of the '30s and '40s even if he seems to have been the complete antithesis of the "gentle" Grappelli (exalted, nervy, music and alcohol enthusiast, Warlop was a peculiar character).
Educated at the Conservatoires of both Lille and Paris, and expected to have a successful classical career, by 1930 he had secured a place with one of Paris' leading jazz ensembles, Gregor Et Ses Gregorians of the Tabac Pigalle.
Even if billed as a jazz player, he also occasionally worked for french pop singers like Maurice Chevalier or Germaine Sablon.
During the war, Michel Warlop turned more into composing and orchestrating, and conducted a jazz string septet, what's considerated today as his most original and exciting work. His masterpiece, "Swing Concerto", recorded in 1942 with a symphonic orchestra, will only see the light as a release in 1989.
After the Second World War, Michel Warlop left the Parisian scene, due to unproved murmurs of collaboration, on account of his wartime involvement in broadcasts on Radio Paris and the Raymond Legrand Orchestra, which toured Germany successfully in 1942.
He died at the age of 36 years only, no doubt because of his alcoholism.
He is thought to have played on approximately 400 recordings of jazz and variétés Françaises, comparatively few of which appear to have survived.