Jean-Philippe Allard, Jazz Producer and Musicians’ Advocate, Dies at 67


From the start, his interests veered far from the professional middle-class ideal. In his teens he read Rimbaud’s verse and the famous jazz hipster Mezz Mezzrow’s memoir. He listened to Bessie Smith, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin; dressed in North African shawls; and once famously exclaimed at the family dinner table, head in hands, “I’ll never work!”

Though fiercely intelligent, he was booted from one high school and dropped out of another, then started picking up part-time jobs. (During a stint as an ambulance driver at Charles de Gaulle Airport, he pushed the wheelchairs of Jean-Paul Sartre and Charles Mingus.) When not working, he played bass in rock bands and joined with friends to start a discothèque and restaurant, which they kept open for two years. He and another of its founders, Christine Corbet, would eventually marry.

She survives him, as do their daughter, Céline Allard, and his brother, Jean-Marc. Mr. Allard’s son, Pablo, died before him.

After taking a job in the classical music department at Fnac, the French records and electronics chain, he was hired at PolyGram France in its classical division. When the company’s executives decided to start a jazz department, he reminded them that he didn’t know much about classical music but was wild about jazz. They put him in charge of starting the department.

In 2007, with PolyGram now owned by Universal Music Group, Mr. Allard was promoted to run all of Universal Music France’s record and publishing divisions. He relaunched Impulse! Records, a once-mighty jazz label that had gone dormant at Universal, in 2014, and released albums by the Henry Butler-Steven Bernstein Hot 9, the pianists Sullivan Fortner and Rodney Kendrick (Ms. Lincoln’s onetime accompanist), Mr. Haden and others.

He left Universal in 2017 to start his own artist management company, Le Bureau des Artistes, working primarily with French pop and hip-hop musicians. And in late 2022, he began an independent label, Artwork Records.



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