In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Thursday, September 6, 2012


A small tribute to Jean Fanis (25/06/1924 – 03/09/2012).

Jean Fanis (Collection Bruynoghe)
The sad news fell two days ago. A message from my friend Claude of the Sweet & Hot Jazz Club saying simply:  
Je viens d'apprendre la mort de Jean Fanis!

Une autre grande figure discrète qui s'en est allée..

and  a link to an short obituary on the Website of the Belgian RTBF radio.
Jean Fanis had often played with Johnny Peret - to whom this blog is dedicated.

Here are two rare photos of the small combo led by Johnny Peret c. 1970, playing at hôtel des Colonies in Brussesls, with Jean Fanis on piano.  
Constant Letellier (cl & ts), Johnny Peret (vibes), Jean Fanis (p),  Ferry Devos (bass),  Jacques Tricot (drums).

Jean Fanis - during the same concerrt
(merci a Claude H.)

For those of you who do not read french, here is a more detailed biography taken from the Lundis d'Hortense Website:

Belgian bop pianist JEAN FANIS  has been active as a pianist on the Belgian jazz scene of the post World War II era.  An illustrator of the be-bop tradition, he was also an experienced accompanist. 
He played with Mickey Bunner and his Orchestra, a.o with Jean Robert.
He had a long association with saxophone player Jack Sels and appears with him on the legendary LP "Jazz in Little Belgium" (Decca).

In 1959, he appears (as "Jack" Fanis) on a four track EP with  Jack Sels and his American colleague Lucky Thompson,  Sadi, Ghana M’Bow, Benoît Quersin & Ado Broodboom  

He played with his small bands as well as his big bands, in the company a.o. Charlie Knetgel, Herman Sandy, Christian Kellens, Francy Boland, André Coel, Alex Scorier, Roger Asselberghs,  Rudy Frankel, Nick Fissette, Jay Cameron Jean Warland, Freddy Rottier, Etienne Verschueren etc...

He also appeared with Jack Sels' Saxorama, with a sax section composed of Jack Sels, Emile Chantrain, Franz L'Eglise, Benny Couroyer, Pros Creado, Guy Dossche.
He appears on the 2 LP compilation "The complete Jack Sels" (Vogel records 101AS & 102 AS), with Philip Catherine, etc...
Between 1953 and 1957 he was the house pianist at the Brussels "Rose Noire" and had the opportunity to play there with many US and European soloists, a.o. Clifford Brown...
In the 60’s, he played and recorded with the quartet of Sadi and was during many years the pianist of the Al Jones Trio, with Roger Vanhaverbeke on bass. With that trio, he accompanied numerous prestigious US soloists, such as Milt Jackson, Clark Terry, etc...

Jean Fanis (p), Vanha (b), Sadi (vib) & Al Jones (dms)

He also played at the Brussels Blue Note, again with many well known soloists, such as Ben Webster, Stuff Smith, etc...

The photo above  (a postcard that was probably used as a promo for the band) is the SADI QUARTET  feat. Jean Fanis (p), Reger Vanhaverbeke (b), Sadi (vib) et Al Jones (dms).
It was taken at the Blue Note, Galerie des Princes in Brussels (where the bookshop  Tropismes is now located).
(with thanks to Claude for this rare postcard).

Other albums on which he appears :

LP "Jazz in Little belgium" (Decca 123.259) with the Jack Sels Quartet, with Jean Warland and Rudy Frankel.
"The complete Jack Sels" (Vogel records 101AS & 102 AS), with Philip Catherine, Al Jones Trio, Saxorama, etc...
CD "50 years of Belgian jazz" (Tauro) with Jack Sels
Herman Sandy "The talent of Herman Sandy (Jazz Club LP J.C. 6010)
Jacques Pelzer Modern Jazz Sextet : with Jacques Pelzer, alto sax, Herman Sandy, trumpet, René Tomas, guitar, Paul Dubois, double bass and Rudy Frankel on drums
Sadi : LP "More vibes" (Jazz Club) 

Fanis' entry in the "Dictionnaire du Jazz à Bruxelles et en Wallonie "(éd. Mardaga/Liège, 1991).


  1. Jean Fanis is almost unknown to me but I send my condolence to his family and friends.
    It is also a sad coincidence that Riccardo from Inconstant Sol has apparently died the same day.
    I imagine them both meeting somewhere...RIP

  2. My sincere condolences to the family and friends
    I heard a lot about Jean, from my father.
    Mijn medeleven
    mes condoleances

    Alain Beguin (son of Mickey Bunner)

    1. Merci de votre visite sur le blog et de votre témoignage.

  3. Pourriez-vous m'aider s'il vous plait; en tant que fils de Mickey Bunner (Marcel Beguin) je cherche depuis des années à trouver des enregistrements de mon père avec son big band durant les années 40 et 50. Il y a entre autres "The 13th port" qui est souvent mentionné sur les forums mais que je ne peux plus obtenir car il n'y en a plus, parait-il. j'ai moi-même 72 ans et voudrais avoir cela si possible.
    Qui pourrait aussi me dire qui est le responsable de ce film absolument incorrect "just friends" dans lequel on parle de mon père d'une manière ridicule.
    Qui, parmi les "anciens" pourrait m'aider ? Merci beaucoup!
    j'ai moi-même joué de la batterie et de la basse au Congo durant la fin des années 50 et ai connu entre autres Roger Asselberghs qui est toujours un grand ami, roger van haverbeke, Jean Evans et beaucoup d'autres :-)


    1. Bonjour,

      je vous répond par e-mail dans la journée.