Of all the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the drummer and multi percussionist Famoudou Don Moye is undoubtedly the one we know the least as a leader, despite his proven cosmopolitanism and his installation in France in the 2010s.
The one who was for a long time the other pillar of the Art Ensemble, with the double bass player Malachi Favors Maghostut, has nevertheless directed or co-directed many groups over the years, such as The Leaders precisely, Jam For Your Life or the Sun Percussion Together. And the new formula of this Odyssey & Legacy Quintet follows nearly thirty years of so-called orchestras, ranging from the trio to the big band, which performed every year in Chicago in the 1990s.
Famoudou Don Moye resolutely proclaims it: "I created this name to reflect my Odyssey and Legacy in / through Great Black Music, and my relentless Pursuit of Pan-African pulse throughout the Diaspora and beyond”
To better understand its highly percussive, resounding formula, let us point out some key moments in the career of the untimely musician. We know that Moye (who had been circulating in Europe since 1968, notably with Steve Lacy) was first spotted in Paris by the Art Ensemble of Chicago for his skill in congas, and his ability to make rhythm (s) of any body: the thousand drums and thunders of Moye, batting spirit.
Recruited into the prestigious quintet in 1970, Moye ended up representing the first Pan-African, from the other side of the mirror: “Moye is really at the heart of African traditions,” says Joseph Jarman. His drums playing, his technique, his approach, his interests and his sensitivity do not testify to one African tradition in particular, but to all at the same time. And he too covers the identity of a shaman, albeit in the style of the African healing musician. »
Adding“ Famoudou ”to his name, in tribute to Famoudou Konaté, djembe player of the famous African Ballets, the Guinean national dance company which had struck the spirits so much in Chicago, the drummer traveled through Guinea, Sierra Leone or the Liberia, married in Freetown, settled in Morocco ... always alternating with Chicago where he frequented and animated the neighborhood association (s) "Sundrummer", founded by Atu Harold Murray, who boasted of being the first association of African-American percussionists in the United States, with a holistic vision: you had to know how to play your instruments and beyond.
Since then, Moye has been playing “sun percussion”. His music emerges from this vegetal battery which branches out and orientates itself in the light of Africa. It is there or there, here and elsewhere, that she brings together her materials, combines her patterns, weaves and traces. On the most singing and the most intricate of the percussion maquis.