If his name is now spreading as an essential reference for the accordion, it has taken quite a while for the discreet Marcel Loeffler to finally be recognized outside of the small circle of gypsy swing fans. The enthusiasts of Django and accordionist Gus Viseur spotted his talent in the first LP by Sweet Chorus. This quintet from Strasbourg was formed in the 1980s by guitarist Mandino Reinhardt, an emblematic figure of Alsatian gypsy swing with whom Marcel has not stopped playing (notably within the group Note Manouche at the end of the 1990s). Among the precursors who immediately detected Marcel’s qualities are several great musicians such as accordionist Marcel Azzola (Marcel Loeffler’s primary source of inspiration), or guitarist Biréli Lagrène (Marcel and Biréli are neighbors and forever connected by a real friendship with reciprocal admiration).
Born into a family of musicians, Marcel received his musical education at a young age, playing at dances alongside his guitarist father. This was a solid training worthy of any music school, which now allows Marcel to be comfortable in all styles. Today the “Loeffler connection” includes Cédric, Marcel’s son; Josélito, one of his brothers; and such cousins as Yorgui, Jordan, Claude, Kornan and Yanki. Among the gypsies, music is always a family affair.
As a sideman, Marcel is highly sought-after (by Wawau Adler and Dorado Schmitt, among others) for his great skills as a jazz man capable of swinging his notes with lightness and delicacy. An inspired improviser, Marcel embodies the essence of other rare musicians who succeed in finding their own way. Marcel, with his eclectic tastes (he evidently loves Django and Viseur, but also Piazzolla, Art Van Damme, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, music from North Africa and Central Europe, French chanson, etc.) and his numerous professional encounters (whether in an accordion duo with René Sopa, Jean-Louis Matinier or Azzola, or with his American colleagues James Carter or Franck Vignola) was able to liberate himself from the “Rheinardtien” tradition in order to renew the inspirations within the swing manouche world. Since “Vago”, his first album as a leader in 1996, he has spread his wings and soared ever higher on his recognition (see the critical unanimity of his albums “Source Manouche” in 2005 and “Hommage” in 2007).
Marcel is a marvelous instrumentalist with an immediately recognizable style that combines a fine touch with clear and elegant musical phrasing. He is also a remarkable composer and a delicate melodist who knows how to play with nuance (as in Pont de Venise with its beautifully lyrical flights, or the superb waltz Ma Référence, appearing on the CD “Source Manouche”).
In short, Marcel is a true musical personality, which is confirmed by his arrival on the prestigious Dreyfus label (other such greats as Biréli, Eddy Louiss or Richard Galliano appear in its catalog) where his tribute to Gus Viseur is highly anticipated.