Jean-Jacques Milteau



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"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

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.
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"...
(*Lost Highway is a Leon Payne song popularized by Hank Williams in 1949)


"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".

JJ 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.





Who would ever think of going to a harmonica concert?
Yet the concert halls where J.J. Milteau has been performing for ages are packed to the rafters, and the audience is always on its feet at the end, clamoring for encores.
It has to be said that the harmonica player considers his instrument more as a motivating spice than as a roborative main course. Always surrounded by excellent musicians, he invites one or more exceptional voices to each of his concerts.
A blues fan from an early age, he learned to play the little instrument by listening to Sonny Boy Williamson records, where the interplay between voice and harmonica borders on genius. J.J. Milteau went on to enter the world of music, accompanying renowned singers such as JJ Goldman, Renaud and Eddy Mitchell in the studio and on stage.
After receiving his first Victoires de la Musique award in 1992 for the album Explorer, he embarked on a solo career at the dawn of the 2000s, recording an album in Memphis with local guests, which earned him another Victoires de la Musique award and a Grand Prix du Jazz de la Sacem.
In addition to his collaborations with Little Milton, Mighty Sam McLain, Terry Callier, Gil Scott Heron, MIchelle Shocked, he tours with Eric Bibb, Joe Louis Walker, Mighty Mo Rodgers and more recently Harrison Kennedy.
For over 20 years, he has hosted the program Bon Temps Rouler on TSF Jazz.
After appearing in the Petit Larousse 2019, he remains the only blues musician with Memphis Slim to have been named Officier des Arts et des Lettres.
You never know where the harmonica might take you...


On tour