Gagnon led, in turn, a 10-piece jazz band 1960-6 and a popular jazz quartet (or quintet) 1966-72. The former appeared at the 1962 and 1963 Montreal Jazz festivals and in local clubs. The latter also performed in clubs (including Gagnon's 'Jazztek' at the Café La Bohème), and at Expo 67, on CBC radio (eg, 'Jazz en liberté) and TV, with the MSO, and in 1968 under the auspices of the MACQ on a provincial tour of universities, schools and Cegeps. Gagnon, the pianist Pierre Leduc, and the trumpeter Ron Proby contributed to the smaller group's repertoire.
Concurrently Gagnon was music director 1969-72 for the singer Charles Aznavour's North American appearances, then turned to studio work as an arranger and composer. Besides his jazz works, he wrote music for a ballet (based on Marcel Dubé's Jérémie and premiered in 1973 by Les Ballets-Jazz du Québec), many jingles, and scores for several movies, including the features Chantal en vrac (1968), Seizure (1973), and Pousse mais pousse égal (1975), and some NFB and industrial documentaries. Collaborating with the lyricists Jean Robitaille and Luc Plamondon he wrote songs recorded by France Castel, Emmanuelle, and Ginette Reno. In later years he worked in the USA.
Author Edward Farrant
La Jazztek. Roberts piano, Donato double-bass, Ranger drums. 1967. Cap ST-6226
Je Jazze. Proby trumpet, Leduc piano, Haynes double-bass, Ranger drums. 1968. Cap ST-6253
Jazzzz. Proby trumpet, Greenwich guitar, Donato double-bass, Provencal drums. 1969. RCI 288/Barclay 80086
Jérémie. Orch, Gagnon conductor. 1973. Opus OP-509
Vive la Canadienne!: French-Canadian folk songs. Orch, Gagnon conductor and arr. (1976). RCI 430
Goodwill, Michel. 'The performer and composer in Lee Gagnon vie for supremacy,' MSc, 268, Nov-Dec 1972
Canadian Jazz Discography
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