"Dans le Monde" (In the World). The title chosen for their first album - ten years ago, already showed the personality of the band "Les Doigts de l’Homme." Since then, they have never deviated from this line of conduct. Being full-fledged musicians without blinkers, open to all currents, which have managed to build a clean sound universe where swing takes place with certain lightness.
This marriage of the opening in the inspiration and the requirement in the interpretation is the hallmark of Olivier Kikteff, the band leader. A self-taught musician found of acoustic and electric guitar, with an original career, who did his first professional experiences in Burkina Faso (alongside the national star Bilaka Kora) before participating, once back in France, in Celtic trainings.
The gypsy passion will come afterwards and will give the tone of this first album produced with the double bass player Tanguy Blum. "Les Doigts de l’Homme", string band (guitars and double bass), was born. And with them the emergence of a particular style made of inroads into diverse musical territories – gypsy, flamenco, song and even classical music with a noticed version of the French “tube” Ravel's Bolero ... - and a kind of quirky humorous approach.
Over the concerts - more than 500 to date - and four albums, between 2003 and 2010, "Les Doigts de l’Homme" has built a repertoire - mostly based on original compositions - which earned the band a worldwide reputation – playing throughout Europe but also in South Africa, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Russia (which is a rare phenomenon for a French group). "Les Doigts de l’Homme" is actually among the formations easily recognizable from the first chords.
The group stresses that while gypsy styles are the core element of their sound, they are not gypsy musicians. Coming from diverse musical backgrounds, they have been brought together by a deep mutual passion for gypsy jazz. On their earlier albums, Les Doigts de l'Homme skillfully integrated rock, world music, and gypsy elements, while 1910 has a more singular creative focus. It is designed as an homage to the true father of gypsy jazz, guitarist/composer Django Reinhardt, with the title referring to Django's year of birth. As the centenary of Reinhardt's birth approached, Les Doigts de l'Homme decided to mark the milestone by recording a new album inspired by his music.
Guitarist Olivier Kikteff explains that "we wanted to pay a heartfelt tribute to Django's music and to the amazing musical legacy he has given to us. He is a perpetual source of inspiration." This album opened to the quartet the way to the United States with a tour in 2012 precisely titled "In The Footsteps Of Django".
Faithful to the gypsy guitar, Olivier Kikteff do not want to be locked into the genre. "Les Doigts de l’Homme" is an acoustic band, sensible, balanced, expressing its difference playing its own compositions. This is the spirit of "Mumbo Jumbo", their fifth album. The string quartet is enriched with an accordion, a polyphonic instrument - so nice mastered by Antoine Girard - to broaden its scope. They are not 4 + 1 but 5 to form a new group which can be already predicted a bright future.
The gypsy spirit, synonymous with generosity and adventure is there in this quintet, the five musicians who complete themselves ... as the five fingers of one hand. Which is appropriate because the group's name can be translated as "The Fingers of Men," for these 5 men are all fleet-fingered wizards of the fret.
In this album, they take us on a planetary journey started on a lively pace (Mumbo Jumbo) and ended with a poetic flight (Olé Léo borrowed from Lionel Suarez). Their world is one of reverie (Caprice, Benedict Convert work), the insouciance, the melancholy, the seriousness itself (with the music Rage Against The Rom). They travel on Gypsy sounds but also Latin ones (Santa Cruz composition by Yannick Alcocer and the very Brazilian one Tudo Bem, by Olivier Kikteff).
With "Mumbo Jumbo" Les Doigts de l’Homme confirm this charming singularity that has earned them a special place in the rich galaxy of Gypsy jazz. Better yet, those five are a real band, homogeneous, which is emerging as an outstanding and seductive voice of world music.