Born in Le Puy en Velay – France, Laurent Courthaliac learned to play piano as a self-taught musician, before becoming a student at the Music Conservatory in Lyon. After he graduated in 1994, he started to be very active on the Rhone Alpes music scene, playing with such musicians as Steve Grossman, Serge Lazarevitch, Yannick Rieu, Charles Bellonzi…
He took also part to the Collective MU Orchestra, a band with whom he won the first price of competitions in Jazz a Vienne (1995), and the first price at Jazz a la Defense(1996).
Laurent moved to Paris in 1998. His sophisticated taste, solid sense of swing and his great knowledge of Jazz repertoire quickly made him a first class musician on the Parisian scene. He started work as a sideman with such musicians as Lee Konitz, Pierre Boussaguet, Rick Margitza, Christian Escoude, Stephane Belmondo, Pierrick Pedron, Francois Theberge, Xavier Richardeau, Joe Cohn, Dmitry Baevsky, Sarah Lazarus… He also became the regular “house pianist” of the famous jazz club “Le Petit Opportun”, being part of the collective “Nuits Blanches”, a musical congregation of an upcoming generation of French Jazzmen (Baptiste Trotignon, Olivier Temime, Alexandre Tassel…).
Parallel to his activities as a sideman, Laurent recorded with some of his working bands, such as Luigi Trussardi 5tet (“Introspection”,Elabeth, 2000), Horellou/Sauzay 5tet (“Versus”, Fresh Sound New Talents, 1999), Yves Brouqui 4tet( The Music Of Horace Silver feat. Joe Strasser on Elabeth,2010), and also as a leader on “Scarlett Street”, his first CD for the famous label Nocturne (2005), with Gilles Naturel on bass and Phillipe Soirat on drums. On this album, composed of standards and originals, “Laurent write a story, his own, with a daring fluidity and talent (Jazz Magazine)”
While keeping up with a busy schedule as a performer, Laurent continued to study piano with the great Alain Jean Marie, as well as with the legendary jazz pianist Barry Harris, who said about him later that he is the “up and coming head of the bebop class”.
In 2008 he started to work with iconic jazz singer Elisabeth Kontomanou. He recorded with her in a duo format, “Brewing the Blues”, for Plus Loin Music (4F Telerama, 4 stars Jazzman) and “Live at the Arsenal”, captured live with a Symphonic Orchestra directed by Jacques Mercier.
He played with her extensively from 2008 to 2012 on French national scenes and venues such as New Morning, Casino de Paris… as well as around the world in Japan, South Corea, Arab Emirates, Caraibian Islands…
Besides this busy schedule, Laurent always kept playing with his trio, appearing regularly in Sunset-Sunside Jazz Club for a series of tributes to some of the most famous jazz legends. Recently, after numerous trips to New York City, Laurent decided to record a new trio album, “Pannonica”, a tribute to the Jazz Baroness Pannonica of Koenigswarter.
To do so, he surrounded himself with jazz legend Ron Carter on bass, Rodney Green on drums, as well as bassist Clovis Nicolas on four tracks. This recording has been released on the prestigious label Jazz Village /Harmonia Mundi in November 2013.
“After many concerts with his trio, pianist Laurent Courthaliac decided to celebrate cinema, his second passion.
He conceived and album leading a larger ensemble – an octet – to pay a tribute to Woody Allen, one of his favorite movie directors.
“All My Life, A Musical Tribute To Woody Allen” will be released on Jazz&People label on September 23rd 2016”
- The Jazz Academy awards the album the “Prix du Disque de Jazz Français 2016”. Laurent performs with the octet between 2017 and 2018 ( Jazz a Vienne, La Coursive, Olympia…).As Laurent’s Parisian apartment has become the meeting place for French and New York musicians, the piano tuner Bastien Herbin decided to install a Steinway Concert piano in his living room.
The place became such a curiosity that Vincent Bessieres (Jazz & People) decided to produce a boxed set of nine solo piano albums: “At Barloyd’s” recorded in the apartment.
The object makes date from its release in November 2018 (Jazz&People), it is received by a dithyrambic and unanimous press (CHOC Jazzmag, Unavoidable Jazznews, Selection, Liberation, Le Monde, Telerama TTT…).
Laurent participate on Xavier Richardeau “Boo boo’s birthday” album, in tribute to Thelonious Monk, released in 2018 on the label Jazz Family.
In 2019, it is with Luigi Grasso, Yaron Herman and Peter Shnurr that he embarks on a brand new adventure by creating the record label LP345 Records, a label exclusively Vinyl and streaming.
The first two productions, two piano solos recorded by Kurt Rosenwinkel and René Urtreger, were recorded in his apartment.
The double Vinyl ” The Complete Orange Hours “, recorded in NYC, which gathers Kevin Hays, Dave Kikosky, Peter Bernstein, Nicole Glover, Alex Caffy, Johnny O’Neal… is released in September 2021 and celebrates the first anniversary of the label.
The new great international piano talent Micah Thomas, noticed in particular by Immanuel Wilkins, confirms the LP345 Records adventure with another double LP, “Piano Solo”, released in September 2022.
In parallel to his new activity as a producer, Laurent performs every Saturday night at the Sunside Jazz Club with his trio “Midnight in Paris”.
In June 2022, he recorded with Nelson Veras and Thomas Bramerie and Fabrice Moreau the first album of young crooner Robin Mansanti.
Laurent also signed the arrangements of the last two albums of the saxophonist Pierrick Pedron:
- Fifty Fifty to be released in 2020 (Sullivan Fortner, Larry Grenadier & Marcus Gilmore)
- New album Featuring Gonzalo Rubalcaba to be released in 2023