SADI has lived a long career as a multi-instrumentalist (mostly playing vibes, but also bongos, percussion, piano etc...), as a writer (composer, arranger), as a bandleader, as a singer (including some amazing scat singing). Altogether, a brilliant showman and an acomplished musician, one of the most important Belgian jazz figures of the post World War II era.
SADI is his stage name but also his first name. He has an aversion to the
sound of his last name : Lallemand.
Sadi (sometimes nicknamed "Fats") shows a passion to music since an early age. At the age of 9 he already appears in a music hall act, playing the xylophone as an
amateur, during the weekends.
He discovers jazz around 1938 listening to Louis ARMSTRONG.
He starts playing the vibraphone as of 1941.
During World War II, he works as semi-professional, then becomes professional.
After the war, he makes many European tours for the U.S. army.
He is a member of the Belgian bop pioneers orchestra "the Bob Shots" from Liège
(Bobby JASPAR, Jacques PELZER, René THOMAS etc...).
Drawing by © Yves Budin
From 1950 to 1961, he lives in Paris, where he works with the most prestigious jazz musicians such as : Lucky THOMPSON, Pierre MICHELOT, Don BYAS, Martial SOLAL, Art SIMMONS, Bobby JASPAR, Sacha DISTEL, Kenny CLARKE, Jack DIEVAL, Stéphane GRAPELLI, and mostly Django REINHARDT.
He also plays with the most famous French orchestras : Michel LEGRAND (at the Alhambra of Paris, twice during six weeks), Aimé BARELLI (2 years), Jacques HELIAN (3 years), Sacha DISTEL's band (1 year).
Sadi worked in the most famous jazz clubs of Paris, the most known during that period being the Club Saint-Germain, the Rose Rouge, the Ring Side, the Blue Note.
He also took part in the last recordings of Django REINHARDT, on April 8, 1953, three weeks before REINHARDT's death (Decca P. 1725-1724-1725-1726 ). And the same year, he records an album as a leader : "Fats Sadi's combo" (Vogue LD212),
SADI goes back to Belgium in 1961, gets hired by the R.T.B. (Belgian Radio) and remains with them from 1961 to 1965 (Henri SEGERS orchestra).
He also leads his own quartet until 1985.
In the meantime, he goes on tour and participates in recording sessions (in Köln) with the Kenny CLARKE - Francy BOLAND Big Band, an orchestra which gained worldwide celebrity.
He goes on a world wide tour with the "Caterina VALENTE Show", in which he got featured in a special spot.
He went with her 5 times to America : New-York, New Orleans, twice, for a six weeks stint to Las Vegas at the Sahara Hotel and Flamingo, with Mickey ROONEY.
He also went to South America, Japan, Russia, Puerto Rico, South Africa.
In '66, SADI records the LP "Ensadinado" in quartet with Francy BOLAND (p), Jimmy WOODE (b) and Kenny CLARKE (drs) (Saba SB 15111).
In 1969 he has his own show on Belgian T.V., which lasted to 1974, as musician and singer, mc, arranger, bandleader and also in charge of the screenplay.
In 1971 he records the big band LP "SWING A LITTLE" (PALETTE 2341 020), reissued in 2003 on CD, on which he appears as a vibist, singer and arranger.
In '72, he records on the LP "Belgian Big Band" (Alpha 7008) a collection of his big band charts with guitarist Jean BLATON as a soloist.
In '76, he makes another LP : Sadi quartet (Rush RLP 7611), with Tony BAUWENS (p), Roger VAN HAVERBEKE (b) and Freddy ROTTIER (drs).
Member of the BRT Jazz Orchestra during many years, he contributes with his writing to the band's book and participates in many radio productions, a.o. with top international jazz soloists.
When the BRT Radio orchestra was scrapped in 1991, SADI, with great rage, reformed his quartet, this time with Tony BAUWENS (piano), Bart DE NOLF (bass) and Tony GYSELINCK (drums).
In 1994 he released a long awaited CD album "THE SADI QUARTET" (ISPAHAN HVH 94010).
In January 1995 SADI became seriously ill, and slowed down his appearances a bit, but always with his good spirit and unique musical talent.
SADI received the DJANGO D'OR award in 1996.
In the Belgian jazz referendum organized by Belgian radios RTBF and VRT and the Belgian critics poll (French speaking), SADI was elected best European vibraphone player of the year '98.
In' September, '99, SADI made an unexpected but remarkable appearance when he conducted ACT Big Band playing two of his pieces during the special night "100 Years of Jazz in Wallonia", in Liège.
In November 2000, the Igloo label released a CD with historic recordings made by BRT radio, featuring the SADI nonet.
2006 sees the release of a cd of his work with the BRT Jazz Radio big band," Sadi's greatest arrangements,
Flagey nine thirty a.m." (Igloo), an album which was elected album of the year during the "Octaves de la Musique" awards in Belgium (2007). A follow-up album is expected.
Sadi died in the night between February 19 and 20, 2009, from a virus and complications while he was treated for several problems at the hospital.
(See top of page for albums documented on this site)
|1953||Fats Sadi's Combo (Vogue LD 212), Blue Note USA 5061 - EP, with Roger Guérin (t, tu) , Nat Peck (tb) , Bobby Jaspar (ts) , Jean Aldegon (bass clar.), Maurice Vander (p) , Jean-Marie Ingrand (b) and Jean-Louis Viale (drs) , |
|1956||Solal / Sadi Quartette (Vogue 74321409332)|
|1959||Sadi's Vibes - The Sadi Quartet plus Jimmy Deuchar and his trumpet (Manhattan) - EP|
| 1960 ||Sadi Quartet : Blue Vibes (Palette) - EP |
| ? ||Sadi : More Vibes (Jazz Club records) - LP |
| 1966||Mr. Fats Sadi, His Vibes & Friends : Ensadinado (Saba 15111 ST), with Francy Boland, Jimmy Woode & Kenny Clarke - LP |
|1966||The New Sadi Quartet - Jazz Bilzen (Fama) - ? |
|1969||Sadi and His Big Band : Tea For Two (Polydor) - LP |
|1971||Sadi Big Band : Les Grands Succès de Charles Trenet (Polydor) - LP |
|1972||Belgian Big Band (featuring Jean Blaton, guitar) (Alpha) - LP |
|1975||Piano viberations (with Francis Coppieters) - LP (KPM) |
|1976||Sadi 4Tet (Rush) - LP RLP 7611
A discography can be found here : http://antiek.telenet.be/FatsSadidiscography.html