Jean-Claude Vannier (b. 1943, Bécon-les-Bruyères, Courbevoie, France) was a composer and arranger.
He was particularly prominent as an associate to Serge Gainsbourg in arranging scores for film in the later 1960s, though he later was to become a solo recording artist in his own right. His musical style was influenced by jazz, baroque, klezmer, oriental and rock forms, culminating in a unique attitute towards composition, fuelled by a taste for 'the wrong side of the music, the wrong notes.' He was originally a producer, but was demoted from the commercially important side of the business, instead being forced to produce for Arabic clients. This was, according to Vannier, an opportunity to explore further the musical genres he had formed a keen interest in.
He moved on to work as an arranger for Brigitte Fontaine, Johnny Halliday and Michel Polnareff, before being approached by Gainsbourg after the latter's association with Alain Goraguer had disintegrated. He then composed the scores for a couple of films in which Gainsbourg was the principal actor- Pierre Koralnik's Cannabis and André Cayatte's Les chemins de Katmandou. Perhaps his most popular contribution to music, in the English-speaking world at least, was the arranging of the orchestra and chorus for Gainbourg's landmark album Histoire de Melody Nelson, a concept piece based around a funk rhythm section with a string and chorus accompaniment. Shortly afterwards, in 1972, Vannier's first full solo album, a conceptual ballet entiltled L'Enfant assassin des mouches ('The child killer of the flies') was released on a little-known French label called 'Suzelle'. This work exemplified the eclectic influences acting upon its composer, and was completed with a short synopsis penned by Gainsbourg. The album never received much attention, however, due to the limits of its release- mostly in the direction of people working in the record industry. He was to make one more concept album, Interprete les musiques de Georges Brassens, detailing the work of the French composer with the same ensemble used on the previous album. He then moulded a pop career as a singer-songwriter, releasing a self-titled album on WEA in 1975. He has since largely withdrawn from the public eye.
Jean Claude Vannier - L'Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes
Jean Claude Vannier - L`enfant au Royaume des Mouches