Jean-Jacques Milteau

Blues

France

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From the working-class Paris where he was born to the gilding of the Opéra Garnier, from the Arctic Circle to South Africa, from Shanghai to Havana via the Nice Jazz Festival with B.B. King, from blues to country and from Celtic melodies to Memphis soul, Jean-Jacques Milteau has always shown that borders celebrate the differences that shape humanity.
He owes this journey to his harmonica, which has enabled him to meet a host of artists: Gil Scott-Heron, Eddy Mitchell, Terry Callier, Barbara, Little Milton.... With some twenty albums and two Victoires de la Musique awards to his name, Milteau has managed to translate the world, putting his virtuosity at the service of pure emotion. 
His new collection, "Key to the Highway", is no exception. Milteau's art, timeless and universal, takes us along a luminous road to which the harmonica is the key.

 

"KEY TO THE HIGHWAY"
 

New album
Out in march 2024

When the moon look over the mountain,
I’ll be on my way … 

 
J.J.Milteau gathers around him some talented accomplices, Michael Robinson, Mike Andersen, Harrison Kennedy, Carlton Moody, under the guidance of Johan Dalgaard... to surf on a soundtrack inspired by the blues and all the music he has been programming for over twenty years on his show "Bon Temps Rouler". 
 
"My whole life has been determined by the purchase of a little harmonica when I was fifteen. For me, it really was The Key To The Highway ... Whether it's Little Walter's 1958 version, Clapton and Duane Allman's 1970 version, or the one mistakenly considered the original by Big Bill Broonzy and Jazz Gillum, "Key to the Highway" is undoubtedly considered a classic. All blues studies agree that the lyrics are often to be taken at face value, but here we have the obvious: the aspiration common to teenagers of all eras to break free from their condition and find a personal and gratifying path. I never believed that the harmonica would serve such a purpose. I've always thought of it more as a spice, tasty to be sure, but a little too typical to be a main course! And yet, I must honestly admit that all those who have made up my life, I met thanks to the little Marine Band 1896/20: The Key to the Highway" ...
J.J. Milteau
 

CONCERT


"Bon temps rouler" live


"Bon temps rouler", the Louisiana translation of "Let The Good Time Roll", is the title of a program presented by JJ Milteau since 2001 on Tsf Jazz. The subject: sharing the pleasure of rediscovering or discovering the repertoire of Blues, but also Soul, without forgetting the roots of Rock, Zydeco, Honky Tonk or Bluegrass. Although this music is now classified as Americana, it is as much a part of the world's heritage as French cuisine, Italian painting or Chinese calligraphy. The program features very few instrumentals, but voices, sublime voices, warm or hoarse, but always carrying a soul, that indispensable soul. In fact, for JJ Milteau, the harmonica is first and foremost an interlocutor for the voice, a cheeky entity that responds, boosts and spurs the song... and allows it to take it easy from time to time! This is also the way JJ Milteau now conceives his concerts: to showcase engaging voices in a repertoire inspired by the playlists on his show. Good times rolling now on stage with JJ Milteau.

 

"LOST HIGHWAY"

Why do certain sounds call up certain images? In the more or less well-organized big data of our memory, the harmonica is part of the soundtrack of road movies. Here, J.J.Milteau combines it with the voice of Nashvillian Carlton Moody** in a combined tracking shot from Hank Williams to Little Walter.

"Is it music that brings people together, or is it the other way around? Evoking the shadow of Hank Williams brought us together for a detour to Lost Highway*. This recording, as serene as it was, is the pursuit of a restless dream. The dream of a century of music: jazz, rock, soul... and others less popular but just as fascinating: blues, folk, country, which delight those curious about humanity, seekers of singular stories, horizon gazers... As a teenager, the harmonica was my direct line to America, the land of all misunderstandings and all possibilities. Through music, I discovered a world of injustice and violence, of passion and multiform cultures. But above all, a world of living music as we had lost the use of it. Getting together and playing, just to tame solitude, before resuming a road that only ends with oblivion."                                                                                                  
J.J. Milteau

 
*Lost Highway is a Leon Payne song popularized by Hank Williams in 1949
**Carlton is not only a talented multi-instrumentalist (Grammy nominated in 1985 and 1988), but above all an inspired singer in the tradition of Appalachian music, "soul music of the white South"...
 

"BLUES N'SOUL" 

Michael Robinson was born in Chicago, the city of the Blues, before emigrating to the West Coast and working for Quincy Jones. Ron Smyth sang in church with his mother before falling into the blues.
J.J. Milteau had long wanted to offer them a sound: as natural as possible. A few sound check sessions, backstage, emails, hotel rooms and a lot of good times later, here they are on stage, a generous music that sounds just like them.
 
"I've always loved voices. In blues, the harmonica is a true interlocutor for the singer. More than to shine, the instrument is there to dialogue, to illustrate, to support, to titillate, to relay, to create a setting conducive to vocal expression. An approach that dispenses with virtuosity and superlatives.
Blues n'Soul is a rereading of the first music I listened to: Blues, Soul, Rock, Folk... They sang of hope for a better tomorrow. For the first time, young people the world over were using a common language to express their desire for openness and tolerance. We were moving away from the great world butchery, we were emerging from colonization, and Western society seemed rich enough to come to the aid of the most destitute, wherever they might be".
J.J. Milteau
 
Michael Robinson was born in Chicago, the city of the Blues, before emigrating to the West Coast and working for Quincy Jones. Ron Smyth sang in church with his mother before falling into the blues.
J.J. Milteau had long wanted to offer them a sound: as natural as possible. A few sound check sessions, backstage, emails, hotel rooms and a lot of good times later, here they are on stage, a generous music that sounds just like them.

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News

New album
"Key to the Highway"
Out march, the 29th 2024