He is the father of drummer Micheline Pelzer (herself wife of pianist Michel Graillier) who ran a jazz club, the JP’s Jazz club, in the house where his father lived in Liège.
Jacques Pelzer simultaneously pursued a career as a pharmacist and a musician.
He made his debut in the world of jazz in 1947, in the "Bob Shots" of saxophonist Bobby Jaspar (where we also found René Thomas).
Over the course of his career, we have heard him with most of the great Belgian jazzmen (Toots Thielemans, Francy Boland, Benoît Quersin, Philip Catherine ...) but also with many American jazzmen (Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Philly Joe Jones, Bill Evans, Chet Baker…).
Above all, he was a loyal friend of trumpeter Chet Baker with whom he recorded numerous records and toured several times.
Jacques Pelzer mainly practiced a jazz impregnated by the bebop but also by the cool jazz and the music of Lennie Tristano. However, in the 1960s, he sometimes played free jazz (with Don Cherry, Gato Barbieri, Archie Shepp…) and, in the 1970s, jazz fusion (with the group “Open Sky Unit”). From the 1980s, he returned to more “classic” aesthetics and “acoustic” jazz.
For the anecdote, we could see Jacques Pelzer in an episode of 1981 of the "Investigations of the Commissioner Maigret" ("The dancer of the Gai-Moulin"). He was the first Belgian musician to have his stele (memorial stone) during his lifetime. This one is at the Madelonne farm in Gouvy. His last saxophone is exhibited in the jazz club of the Farm.
He is buried in Herstal.
Rene Thomas/Jacques Pelzer 1955
''There'll Never Be Another You''