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Jean-Louis Matinier


Photo courtesy T. Radlwimmer

Born in 1963 and classically trained, Jean-Louis Matinier is an eclectic musician who divides his repertoire among contemporary music, improvisation, jazz and song. Two decades of improvisation and composition have taken him to the highest European and international festivals.  He was part of the Orchestre National de Jazz under the direction of Claude Barthélémy from 1989-1991.

Matinier has performed with a wide range of leading artists, including Michael Riessler, Robby Ameen, Howard Levy, David Friedman, Anthony Cox, Karl Berger, Adriana Hölszky, Enrico Rava, Gian Luigi Trovesi, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Francois Couturier, Louis Sclavis, and Anouar Brahem.

To showcase his own compositions, Jean-Louis Matinier formed a duo with Renaud Garcia-Fons in 1999. Their work was released in an album from Enja Records, Fuera.

In 2003, he formed a quartet with Bobby Rangell, Nelson Veras, John Weller and released the album
Confluences on the Enja label.  He has performed a large number of concerts and tours with both groups.

In 2006, Matinier collabarated with Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem and pianist François Couturier on the album Voyage De Sahar which attracted favorable reviews.

The trio’s improvisations are miracles of weightless precision; while sounding like nobody else, they also evoke chanting medieval monks, Keith Jarrett’s florid keyboard sagas, Parisian bal musette, the long-vanished Moorish kingdom of Granada via 20th-century Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, languid recollections of French impressionist Eric Satie plus dissonant gleanings from Astor Piazzolla’s sardonic Argentinean neo-tangos. Despite this complex array of intellectual influences, which permeate the trio’s constructions like smoke rings, their works come across as disarmingly simple and unpretentious, a tidily diffuse combination of Arabic modes, European classical disciplines and jazzy intuition. Liberated by sheer inventiveness, the trio’s technical skill is so extreme that it has long since ceased to draw attention to itself. Instrumentalists of this caliber are long past needing to impress anyone but themselves. –Christina Roden

In 2008, Matinier teamed up with nyckelharpa player Marco Ambrosini to explore new styles of composition. Most recently, he has been working with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

The Austrian vocal quartet Schnittpunktvokal chose Matinier to compose new music for them, and accompany them at the Carinthian Summer Festival.

Matinier has been Juliette Gréco’s faithful accompanist since 1999. They have toured in Europe and numerous international venues including the Théatre des Champs Elysées and a Japanese tour in 2009.  With Gréco’s pianist and composer, Gérard Jouannest, he has performed on her latest album, Je me souviens de tout (Polydor – Universal Music 2009).

Chez Mana interviewed Matinier following the 2010 London Jazz Festival.


Confluences (2003)

Voyage De Sahar (2006)

Nostalghia: Song for Tarkovsky (2006)

Fuera (1999)

Silver & Black (2009)

Louis Sclavis: Dans la nuit (2002)

Le Pas Du Chat Noir (2002)

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