Albi. Manoukian’s words and notes

the essential
Last night, André Manoukian launched a series of four concerts at the Grand Théâtre, as part of the Albi jazz festival. He brought his tempos from the East, without forgetting his legendary verb, which makes him an artist apart.

Let’s face it. We like André Manoukian. You know an artist who begins his show with a half-hour of a psycho-philosophical discourse. Well him, yes. After a well-felt little piano stroke, he takes his microphone to explain the essence of his show, his journey, in front of a packed house. A public come to see the man of the media, telecrochets. But the artist is above all a jazz pianist. “How good to see you again, even if you have strange faces, with your masks. I’m always impressed when I play the piano by myself. I feel like I’m completely naked. That’s why , that I hid behind singers for a long time. Practical. The problem is that I systematically fell in love. It became complicated.”

He likes to tell stories

The talking machine is on. “At the beginning, I wanted to do jazz, because it was said that this music was played in brothels. I’m kidding. I started with classical music before discovering this incredible musical universe.” Then, André Manoukian embarks on the history of jazz which takes us from the death of Robespierre to the cotton fields of Louisiana. It’s time for his musicians to come on stage. A brass, a cello, a double bass, a battery and here we go. Very quickly, floats this oriental music that Manoukian wanted to revisit. A tribute to his Armenian ancestors. “You know, in the East, the tempos are more numerous, more complex.” It’s time to clap your hands, the public. “I admit that this work allowed me to take away certain neuroses about my past. They are a complex people. I would take an example. In a Marseilles newspaper, one could read “Exchange 3,000 years of civilization against a well-placed pitch.” The audience savors it. Between two sentences, a piece. Let’s admit that the musicians who accompany Manoukian are top-of-the-range. A flawless tempo, hard-hitting solos. “I also wanted to tell you that I had to play with the Balkan, four Bulgarian singers. Unfortunately, two of them have the Covid. To replace them, we will offer you the Duduk. An Armenian instrument that brings a tone so close to a woman’s voice. It’s great.” Here we go again for this oriental journey, which rests, which bewitches. Then we continue with words, quotes from philosophers. It’s Manoukain’s touch. Talking and playing. A DNA that we does not change, in front of an audience that always asks for a little more.