Robert PERNET was one of the most important Belgian jazz historians and archivists.
His book "Jazz in Little Belgium" (1966), written more than 30 years ago and unfortunately out of print, is still a unique reference tool.
The discographic section has been updated in 1999. This "Belgian Jazz Discography" is a monumental work and is still available (see below). It covers 100 years of recorded Belgian "syncopated music" (1897-1997) with an addendum at the end of the book to include the recent Belgian recordings made in 1998 and 1999.
But it should also be mentioned that Robert PERNET was also a talented drummer in the modern jazz idiom since the early sixties.
He played a.o. for ten years with the Babs ROBERT Quartet. With saxophonist Babs ROBERT, pianist Johnny BROUWERS and bassist Paul DUBOIS, the band played a.o. at the Montreux Festival in 1967.
He also played with well known Belgian and American jazz soloists : Toots THIELEMANS, SADI, Lou BENNETT, Bobby JASPAR, Jacques PELZER, René THOMAS, Charles LOOS, Herman SANDY, etc...
He appears a.o. on a EP album recorded in '1968 with Philip CATHERINE (New Music Corp.10007). The same year, he appeared again at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the trio THREE-LOGY of guitarist Philip CATHERINE, with Freddie DERONDE on bass.
As a writer, Robert PERNET also wrote many articles for various jazz publications. He a.o. wrote for the RECORD MEMORY CLUB magazine. He also was advisor for several radio and tv programs, such as Flemish tv BRT's "Jazz in België" and wrote numerous liner notes for Belgian jazz albums.
He was a contributor for the famous "New Grove Dictionary of Jazz" (Macmillan Reference Ltd, 1988), for which he wrote short biographies for no less than 37 Belgian historical jazz personalities. See the WEB SITE.
Robert PERNET's latest book, his Belgian Jazz Discography (1999), is still available and information on how to order it can be found in our Books page.
In 2001, on the occasion of the Belgian Django d'Or awards, Robert PERNET's widow received a posthumous award, the "Muse" of Sabam, for Robert's contribution to Belgian jazz.
" Sa passion dévorante a permis à Robert Pernet de boucler sa fabuleuse "Belgian Jazz Discography".
Dès lors, il a plié son ombrelle et posé les baguettes de sa batterie créative. " (Marc Danval) It was his devouring passion that enabled Robert Pernet to accomplish his fabulous "Belgian Jazz Discography".
"Once done, the ex drummer put down his creative drumsticks". (Marc Danval)
In November 2002, the "King Baudouin Foundation" has announced that it has acquired the unique jazz collection of the late Belgian jazz historian and archivist : a treasury of more than 7000 records, numerous books, magazines, sheet music, photographs, all objects of great value to document the history of Jazz, particularly in Belgium.
The Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) in Brussels will administrate the collection, and after a meticulous inventory, intends to present it to the public.
In a ceremony, November 6, 2003, the collection was revealed to the public.
The Robert PERNET collection presented to the public, a booklet and a double cd : "jazz in little Belgium" with rare historical recordings of Belgian jazzmen.