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JEF GILSON Malagasy At Newport

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FOUR TETなどの先鋭的なアーチストにも影響を与えてきたフランスのジャズの先駆JEF GILSON & MALAGASY、マダガスカル島、レユニオン島から亡命してきたミュージシャン達とのPALMからの名作がついに単独再発されます。

ジャンルを超えて、今聴かれるべき先鋭70sアーチストとして、JAZZMAN、KINDRED SPRITなどが再発を勧めてきたJEF GILSON。アフリカン・リズム、ポリリズムの先鋭性にいち早く気づき、取り組んだアーチストとの一人で1968年にマダガスカルに渡っています。その当時、現地でセッションしたミュージシャン達の何人かはは、4年後にフランスに亡命し、このジェフ・ギルソンとこの録音を残し、JEF GILSONが帰国後に設立したPALMからリリース。ヴァリハというマダガスカルの民族弦楽器をフィーチャリングした「Valiha Del」はFOUR TETもLAST NIGHT TALESで セレクト。 (サイトウ)

▼ Tracklisting

A1.Newport Bounce (5:46)sample
A2.Salegy Jef (6:11)sample
A3.Solo Frank (6:03)sample
A4.Buddah's Vision (6:00)sample
B1.Veloma Lava (4:48)sample
B2.Valiha Del (4:51)sample
B3.Requiem Pour Django (7:28)sample
B4.Dizzy 48 (5:20)sample
B5."1973" (1:58)sample

In May 1972, the wave of anger and the thirst for freedom that had swept the world in 1968 arrived in Madagascar. The Malagasy youth took the opportunity to exile in search of a brighter future. Several of them, all jazz musicians and often polyintrumentalists, came to Paris with their afro hair and bellbottoms. Their names were Sylvin Marc, his cousin Ange "Zizi" Japhet, Del Rabenja, Gérard Rakotoarivony and Frank Raholison.

By chance, they crossed paths with pianist and bandleader Jef Gilson, who they had already met as kids during a series of concert and workshops in Tananarive four years earlier. Gilson was far from an unknown on the French jazz scene. He had played with Boris Vian and André Hodeir at the end of the forties, he was one of the first French composers to move away from the New-Orleans style to try his hand at bebop, had launched numerous young stars (Ponty, Texier, Portal...), was a polemical critic for Jazz Hot, had opened for Coltrane at Antibes/Juan Les Pins, and was part of the Double Six... But it was tough to make a living playing personal compositions and Jef, who didn’t have enough money to return to the island and continue mining the seam of Malagasy jazz, saw an opportunity to relaunch ‘Malagasy’.

He had his recording studio in the Les Halles area, at the Foyer Montorgueil, where he was teaching jazz to a choir. He set to work with the new Malagasy group, working on a repertoire and reviving some of his compositions from the 50s/60s ("Requiem Pour Django", "Dizzy 48", "Anamorphose" here renamed "Salegy Jef" as a nod to an ancestral rhythm reworked in a contemporary style...), and also included more recent tunes ("Newport Bounce" which opens this current album is a reworking of a track called "Interlude", recorded in 69 with the drummer from Miles Davis’ first quintet, Philly Joe Jones). The group Malagasy 73 gigged a lot. One of their concerts was recorded on the 14 March in a club, ‘Le Newport’, in rue Grégoire de Tours, Saint Germain des Prés, not far from the ‘Kiosque d'Orphée’ where Gilson worked at the beginning of the 60s when he brought bebop and avant-garde jazz to the attention of a generation of musicians with his records imported from USA.

This meeting between two generations and two cultures created a new mix between jazz, traditional music and electric funk. Jef Gilson had reinvented himself yet again, and it wouldn’t be the last time.

Jérôme « Kalcha » Simonneau

Sylvin Marc / Del Rabenja
Madagascar Now

180g LP w/ booklet, FFL067, £13
CD, FFL067CD, £7

01. Valiha Ny Dada
02. Katramo
03. Hommage à Rakotozafy
04. Amore Ny Canal
05. Del-Light
06. O Ambalavoa “City”
07. Rotaka (Fais Peter)

While he was working on the repertoire for the new version of his group Malagasy, with young Malagasy musicians he had met in Paris in 1972 (and who can be heard on the album "Malagasy At Newport-Paris"), Jef Gilson realised that two of his new discoveries, in addition to being established polyinstrumentalists (who both had sharpened their skills in the legendary seja-jazz band from La Réunion, Le Club Rythmique), were also skilled composers. They were capable of reinventing jazz and traditional Malagasy music, adding influences from the new generation inspired by pop, rock and funk into the mix. He offered them the chance to share the two sides of an album recorded on his own label, Palm, alongside their compatriots. Ange "Zizi" Japhet, Gérard Rakotoarivony and Frank Raholison.

This is how Del Rabenja and Sylvin Marc came to record this "Madagascar Now / Maintenant 'Zao". The first side really showcases the valiha (a small Malagasy harp) of Del Rabenja who uses the occasion to pay homage to the sadly missed Rakotozafy, often called the Django Reinhardt of the instrument. His three compositions are full of spirituality and invite an almost trance-like state. But Rabenja is equally a very good tenor saxophonist and organist on the other tracks. The other side displays the full range of talents of the multi-instrumentalist and composer Sylvin Marc, who moves from bass to drums, from vocals to percussion and offers four compositions ranging from free jazz to cosmic groove.

At the same period the five men could also be found amongst the cast list of the mythical albums, "Funny Funky Rib Crib" by Byard Lancaster and "Soul Of Africa" by Hal Singer & Jef Gilson. Later, Sylvin Marc would play bass for Nina Simone on her album "Fodder On My Wings" in 1982, then join the team of violinist Didier Lockwood, while Del Rabenja would be part of Manu Dibango’s and Eddy Louiss’ orchestras for a long time and would even be at the front of the top 50 at the end of the 80s with David Koven. He would also be the special guest of the Palm Unit trio (Fred Escoffier, Lionel Martin, Philippe "Pipon" Garcia) on their first album, an homage to the œuvre of Jef Gilson, in 2018.

Jérôme "Kalcha" Simonneau

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