A summit meeting between three exceptional musicians: a Malagasyaccordionist, a South African guitarist and a French drummer. Their music is at the same time primitive and erudite, rugged and sophisticated. Tinted with jazz, blues and soul, it draws from the many musical sources to be found in Southern Africa and in the Indian Ocean region.
Originating from Tuléar, in the south of Madagascar, Régis Gizavo is a self-taught accordionist who grew up immersed in the traditions of his native land and at the same time influenced by the music he heard on the radio (rock/pop, chanson française and afro pop). He started to play in local bands, then in the late 80s he was a member of Jihé (which also featured guitarist D’Gary) and he founded several groups in his name.
In 1990, Gizavo was awarded a Découvertes RFI prize. He settled in France, soon becoming the accordionist of the Corsican band I Muvrini. He also accompanied a number of musicians on tour and in recording sessions (Manu Dibango, Césaria Evora, Ray Lema, Lénine, Les Mahotella Queens, Les Têtes Brûlées, Zao, Higelin, Bernard Lavilliers, Mano Solo...). In 1995 he founded a duo with drummer David Mirandon. Together they have toured the world over and recorded two albums for label Bleu. A remarkable singer, a composer and songwriter of great originality, Gizavo is a full-fledged musician, capable of smoothness as well as wildness. His breathtaking left hand technique (his bass lines are unique) and his lyrical, flamboyant style, make him one of the greatest accordionists of today.
Hailing from Harare, Zimbabwe, Louis Mhlanga started the guitar at the age of 10. Drawing his inspiration from both his tradition (shona and zulu) and such western music styles such as rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and blues, he soon forged his own style. This consummate guitarist and accomplished musician has worked with all the great musicians in Southern and West Africa (King Sunny Ade, Olivier Mtukudzi, Vusi Mahlasela, Hugh Masakela, Busi Mhlongo, Ray Phiri, the Mahotella Queens...), formed his own band, «Music Ye Afrika» and more recently «The Louis Mhlanga Trio».
Like Gizavo, Mhlanga is a nomad of music. A singer-songwriter, a gifted improviser and an impeccable melodist, he has recorded several albums under his name and with his trio. He met Regis and David Mirandon in 2005, during their South Africa - Indian Ocean tour organised by the French Institute in South Africa. The trio that came out of their meeting was formed again to perform at the 30th Musiques Metisses Festival in Angoulême. This was the perfect opportunity to record an album, with the help (and studio) of sound engineer Manou Gallet, who has worked with Gizavo and Mirandon for a number of years.
Aged 33, the drummer-percussionist David Mirandon is the youngest member of the trio. Born in Tours in Central France, he grew up in greater Paris, with an amateur jazz saxophonist for a father and a mother fan of folk songs and African music. As a child he was introduced to Haitian ceremony rhythms by the late drum master Pierre Cheriza. At the age of 11, Mirandon started his musical education at the Conservatoire de Paris, which he left at 17 with a first prize.
His training drew from many sources, which are richly reflected in his musical path and style. On stage and in recording studios, he as accompanied such diverse artists as Eric Lelann, Paco Sery, Richard Bona, Angélique Kidjo, the Mahotella Queens, Wassis Diop, Lokua Kanza, Gérald Toto and many more. The author of a CD-Rom about percussion, which was unanimously hailed by specialised media, he has also composed or arranged several songs for French pop and R ‘n’ B.
His meeting with Régis Gizavo has been a determinant factor in the approach of this accomplished musician. Gizavo’s musical universe, an amazing synthesis of his references (folk, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, African music) and deepest aspirations, was a true revelation for David, who has therefore, very naturally, made this musical venture his artistic and human priority. Within the duo for over ten years, and now within this trio, Mirandon’s style freely expresses their strong closeness.
Manou Gallet is much more than just a sound engineer. He is a bit like the fourth musician in the band. He met Regis Gizavo when he was doing the sound for I Muvrini (stage and studio). From that day on, Regis and him have always worked together. Drawing strength from his long experience, Gallet has made his know-how available to the trio. The ‘live’ recording highlights the freshness and energy emanating from this session.