Sadi was one of the Europe’s greatest vibraphonist. In Andenne, where he was born in 1927, his father used to pick out the “novelty tunes” of the day on an old upright lacquered piano. He was fascinated by tunes such as “Rag Doll” by Nacio Herb Brown, “Doll Dance” and “Nola” by Felix Arnt, “Kitten on the Keys” by Zez Confrey.

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Connected with Europe’s first bop group, the Bob Shots (in 1946, Bobby Jaspar and Jacques Pelzer were the key players), he appeared in 1949 at the Festival de Jazz de Paris on the same programme as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. From 1950 onwards for about 12 years, he regularly played in Paris. Sadi appeared in clubs with the big names of jazz: from Lucky Thompson to Don Byas, Kenny Clarke to Stéphane Grappelli and from Martial Solal to Django Reinhardt.

The man from Liberchies, employed Sadi for a long time at the Ring Side and a recording session on April 8 1953, three weeks before he was struck down by a brain tumour coming back from fishing in Samois-sur-Seine. Sadi, Europe’s greatest vibraphonist, plays only too rarely on the piano. Bongoist and percussionist, he is one of the few singers to have adapted French to jazz, independently of his immense feel for the big band.

The density of his arrangements is worthy of those he produced for Count Basie, Neal Hefti, Ernie Wilkins and Sam Nestico. He appeared frequently on TV as part of Henry Segers band but also on the famous “Sadi Show” (1969 to 1974).

The Mississippi flow in him. His triumphal freedom of expression puts him on a par with the greatest.

Sadi left us on february 2009.

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