The Jazz à cours & à jardins Festival revisits history in Lyon

Agathe Jeanneau and François Jeanneau at the Festival Jazz à cours & à jardins, in Lyon, on June 4, 2023.

Two or three reasons to love the Festival Jazz à cours & à jardins, founded by the musician François Dumont d’Ayot and organized this year until June 16 in the Lyon region: the modesty of its sails; the charm of its outdoor locations, landscapes and viewpoints; more than original programming. Invite two “historical”, Michel Edelin (flutist and composer, June 3) and François Jeanneau (soprano sax, June 4), it is a challenge. Plus the uncertainty of thunderstorms, which always gives pleasure: one, interrupting theAndromache by Michel Edelin, the other, late in coming after having led the public under a sheltered fold.

This Sunday, June 4, François Jeanneau presents himself at the Cercle bouliste du Point du Jour, rue des Aqueducs, in Lyon (5e). The festival therefore retreats to its covered clay court. The augurs announce the rain, but the gods decide otherwise. Jeanneau (born in Paris, in 1935), an encyclopedia career, presents himself with his daughter Agathe. She reads an autobiographical text by her father, and Dumont d’Ayot, the master of ceremonies, serves them a very judicious countermelody, on the bass clarinet. Agathe plays her father’s voice, which punctuates with musical illustrations. The sound object of Jeanneau, father and daughter, remains very fresh, within everyone’s reach. A music lesson treat.

Inner experience

Jeanneau tells it with accuracy and humor. History of clubs, studios, technologies; history of Paris, history of jazz and its battles (old versus modern); advent of free: Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry, with Tomorrow Is the Question! (1959). Personal career of Jeanneau, his record Pandemonium (1988), his full role in the highly celebrated Saxophone Quartet and his educational dimension (National Jazz Orchestra, creation of a jazz department at the Paris Conservatory, etc.). Recitative made of bonhomie and exactitude, praise of the “lazy concentration”. Combat music, jazz remains, for François Jeanneau, after a race started in 1954, a matter of tireless practice of the instrument, of play and of the moment.

The rain will not come. The day before, on the other hand, Saturday June 3, the storm was invited in full medium of the concert of Michel Edelin (born in Paris, in 1941). The lawn and trees of Domaine Lyon Saint-Joseph in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon were quickly drowned in the deluge. Very strong dramatic effect. Michel Edelin came with a high-flying praetorian guard: Simon Goubert (drums), Stéphane Kerecki (bass) and Sophia Domancich (Fender Rhodes keyboard), which is the best in our climates, in terms of rhythm.

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