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19 Novembre 2017

Franck Médioni

Sounds of Surprise – Le jazz en 100 disques

par Jean-Philippe Haas

Journaliste, homme de radio et auteur de nombreux livres (sur Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Django Reinhardt...), Franck Médioni est surtout connu pour sa contribution à Jazz Magazine et à l'émission Jazzistiques sur France Musiques. C'est dire s'il maîtrise son sujet. Sélectionner cent disques dans un genre aussi multiple n'a pas dû être chose aisée, a fortiori pour quelqu'un qui en connaît un rayon en la matière.

Plutôt que d'essayer vainement de définir cette musique aux formes si nombreuses, Médioni emprunte les mots de jazzmen à qui l'on posait la question. Devant l'impossibilité de donner une définition satisfaisante, il conclut : le jazz, c'est avant tout une clameur. Contrairement à d'autres ouvrages de la collection, il n'y a pas de tentative de sa part de convaincre à l'aide d'arguments qui se voudraient objectifs. Il décrit les œuvres avec son ressenti, dans un langage souvent métaphorique, et de la plume adroite qu'on lui connaît. Les émotions priment sur les aspects purement factuels comme le succès ou l'influence, même si ceux-ci sont naturellement évoqués et analysés. Et lorsqu'il aborde l'inévitable historique du genre, Médioni le fait avec un style qui lui est propre, en racontant le jazz comme une épopée, nourrie des grandes aspirations artistiques de ses héros.

La sélection des cent albums se porte en grande partie (les deux tiers environ) sur les décennies qui ont amené de grands bouleversements dans le jazz - mais bien après l'apparition de la révolution be-bop - à savoir les années cinquante à soixante-dix : jazz cool, hardbop, jazz fusion, free jazz...cette période est riche en rebondissements et on ne peut décemment s'offusquer de son hégémonie dans les choix de l'auteur, tant elle a donné naissance à des chefs d’œuvre comme ceux de Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Sun Ra et tellement d'autres. Mais si les grands noms sont tous là, Médioni place aussi quelques artistes moins universellement connus qui ont ses faveurs. Le tout forme un bel équilibre, entre consensus et contre-pied.

Comme toute anthologie, celle-ci peut être discutée. On comprend à la fois la prédominance d'un certain ge d'Or du jazz en déplorant en même temps le peu de représentants d'une scène actuelle pourtant infiniment riche et en constant renouvellement. Sounds of Surprise reste avant tout un outil de découverte écrit par un auteur passionné et compétent, et à ce titre, il remplit totalement son rôle.

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