Carte blanche for Émile Parisien

Le bouquet final

Sunda31st March
Cité du Vin, Bordeaux

The concert

31st March was the closing evening of this edition of Hear Palmer… It was the Auditorium of the Cité du Vin that hosted Émile Parisien, the patron of the edition. This time he assembled an original, explosive combination of talent, surrounding himself with Jeff Ballard and Henri Texier, with whom he performed on stage for the very first time. They were joined by the guitarist Manu Codjia over the course of this singular evening, during which the artists were invited to improvise together, mixing their style and creativity, ensuring that the final notes of this special edition resounded with surprises one more time.

Already an iconic Bordeaux landmark, the Cité du Vin contributed to the promotion of the Bordeaux wine region and the sharing of its culture. A beautiful stage on which to conclude this 10th edition of Hear Palmer.

A few words about the artists…

Henri Texier

Henri Texier, Parisian by birth, started teaching himself the double bass in his teens, and quickly became a highly adept jazz performer. An impassioned musician, it was thanks to a invitation from drummer Daniel Humair that Texier was able to immerse himself in the clubs of Paris, where he would rub shoulders with a whole generation of distinguished improvisers. Around the age of 20 he started to travel the world, notably with Phil Woods, who hired him to play in his European Rhythm Machine, a band with which Texier would perform at the Newport Jazz Festival (United States). After that, Texier entered a period of eclecticism and experimentation, during which he began exploring new musical horizons, eventually creating, among other groups, the folk-rock band Total Issue. In 1975, he recorded the first of his solo albums. Several fortunate encounters later, he created the Transatlantik Quartet along with Jacques Mahieu on drums and Louis Sclavis on clarinet. Soon followed the Azur Quartet, the Sonjal Septet, as well as his trio Romano-Sclavis-Texier. He is one of those rare musician-composers with a lifetime of experience in jazz and a unique artistic sensibility. It’s what enables him to federate creative energies, and to avoid ever becoming prisoner of a single artistic universe. Throughout his distinguished, international career, he’s often felt the desire to immerse himself in other artistic worlds such as theatre, television or even pyrotechnics.

“Henri Texier has always succeeded in marrying the newest sounds to the most popular ones. Henri Texier does not follow the trends and fashions of his time: he is one of those who creates them.” 

Francis Marmande – Le Monde

Jeff Ballard

Jeff Ballard, born in California, discovered jazz thanks to his father, and the drums while in high school. He absorbed numerous influences during his young years, from Brazilian drums and Reggae to Afrocuban music, but would develop a particular sensitivity for jazz. His talent didn’t go unnoticed, and soon a unique opportunity was presented to him: in 1980 he was recruited by the man who became his mentor, Ray Charles, with whom he would travel the globe for nearly three years. Jeff was starting to make a name for himself by 1990, alongside musicians like the saxophonist Mark Turner or the bassist Avishai Cohen. After a series of collaborations, notably with Bobby Hutcherson, Lou Donaldson, and Danilo Perez, he partnered up with a young talent named Chick Corea in 1999. He is today the co-leader of the trio Fly, accompanied by the saxophonist Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier on bass, undoubtedly the most singular and exciting of many musical projects he’s taken part in over the last 10 years. Still very active in the music scene, he released an album on 25 January 2019, Fairgrounds. Jeff Ballard is a fabulous drummer, blessed with exceptional technique and extreme agility, making him one of the most captivating and inventive players today.

Manu Codjia

Manu Codjia, born in 1975 in Chaumont, France, was introduced to music by his grandmother. At an early age he enrolled in the school of music in Chaumont where he discovered jazz. As a young man, he was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris where he would blossom under such professors as François Jeanneau, Daniel Humair and François Théberge. He was awarded first prize at the conclusion of his studies and would quickly be invited to collaborate with numerous musicians, including Erik Truffaz and Henri Texier. His first album, Songlines, released by the label Bee Jazz, featured his own compositions and included Daniel Humair and François Moutin. The album would earn him the Django d’Or jazz award for new talent in 2007, and a nomination at the Victoires du Jazz competition. Today, he plays alongside Émile Parisien in Sfumato and File Under Zawinul, as well as in Géraldine Laurent’s trio Looking for Parker. He also founded an ongoing trio with Jérôme Regard and Philippe Garcia with whom he recorded his second album Manu Codjia, followed by his third in 2010, COVERS dedicated to reinterpreting pop songs (Bob Marley, Michael Jackson). Manu Codjia has a unique talent for listening to his fellow players and adapting to their style, which is just part of what makes him such an outstanding musician and guitarist.


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