Born in Nice in 1937 to a French mother and an American father, he left France with his family in 1940 and spent the next six years in America, where an uncle gave him a saxophone. He also possessed an inquiring and unorthodox mind, and was keen to
venture beyond the confines of an idiom he had so quickly masteredHis style was never one that cried out for attention, but it evolved
into an approach that could hold its own among the hard-bop giants of
the day, such as Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson and Donald Byrd, with whom he
also recorded during the 1950s.