Biography of Manou Gallo (Joe Farmer)
The tenacity shown by Ivorian bassist Manou Gallo in giving sparkle to her virility and expressiveness is a sign of sincere and unquestionable commitment. For a long time, his creative impulse has punctuated his daily life. She's just a child when the almost visceral call of music guides her nimble hands, first, to the drum. She takes pleasure in rhythmizing her young years of apprenticeship in this way and shows a certain enthusiasm to participate in the performances of Woya, one of the happy itinerant African troupes, which gives her the opportunity to multiply experiences.
Over time, Manou Gallo gains confidence, sings, dances, shines on stage and asserts his multidisciplinary talent. She owes the acceleration of her artistic journey to the regret of producer and arranger, Marcellin Yacé. This fine instrumentalist quickly perceives the potential of this insatiable young woman. It was he who encouraged her to play electric bass. He will support her, advise her, direct her to a promising elsewhere. Manou Gallo will never forget this providential chaperone, who tragically died in 2002. Thanks to him, she will have grown up, she will have matured. Thanks to him, she was ready to leave the land of her ancestors and try another adventure in Europe.
In 1997, Manou Gallo was 25 years old. She discovers the old continent. The requests of Michel de Bock, tour manager of Zap Mama, lead her to Brussels in Belgium where she becomes the regular bassist of this popular vocal group. The joys of performing arts, the spotlight and her appetite for stage performances convinced her to persevere. She now feels seasoned enough to face the future. In 2001, Manou Gallo intends to stand on his own feet. His first recordings are wriggling. "Dida" hits the mark and the start of the 21st century promises to be bright. Gradually, Manou Gallo stands out and polishes his game, she sparkles with each of her appearances. It multiplies and invents ever more daring concepts, the "Manou Gallo Women Band", the "Groove Orchestra", "L’acoustic Africa" or the "Music Machine"! Her stylistic prowess on bass elevates her to the rank of the greatest. In a decade, she released five albums
and is displayed in the company of major figures of the Afro-funk landscape of our time. Marcus Miller and Wyclef Jean, in particular, are full of praise ... Candide, Manou Gallo does not hesitate to try his luck without taking advantage of privileged contacts. She just sends an email to one of her heroes, American bassist Bootsy Collins. She hopes for an answer but stays down to earth. The likelihood that the ex-partner of James Brown, who must be in high demand, will react is very slim. Yet recklessness works. Bootsy Col- lins initiates a call. In 2017, 20 years after her first steps on European soil, she took a new step in her irresistible quest for musical development. Here she is in Sacramento, California in Maestro P-Funk's studio. The insolent efficiency of the album, which appeared a few months later, aroused enthusiasm and renewed interest in the new "Afro Groove Queen". However, Manou Gallo keeps a cool head and does not want to cut corners. She knows what she owes her elders and now wants to take the time to honor them.
“Aliso” is the tasty fruit of this winding journey through his memories. Manou Gallo feels free today to salute the memory of all those who instilled in her this taste for interpretation. Manu Dibango, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Franco Luambo, Marcellin Yacé are at the heart of his reverent concerns. There is no doubt that these strong tributes will awaken our nostalgia but will perhaps also arouse the interest of a new generation for an essential heritage highlighted by the luminous harmonic and rhythmic ornamentations of an inspired artist.
LADY by Manou Gallo, presentation of the single
How perilous it is to revitalize a universal classic immortalized, moreover, by an indisputable African icon! Manou Gallo brilliantly takes up this challenge by judiciously grinding one of the anthems of Nigerian singer and saxophonist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. "Lady", recorded 50 years ago for the album », Is a thrilling work whose civic dimension suddenly springs forth with force in this new interpretation.
The admirable Ivorian bassist thus celebrates the claiming momentum of women half a century after the scathing words and agitated notes of his illustrious elder. The "afro-groove queen" lives in the present and hears the protest slogans of her sisters engaged in a crusade for equality and parity. Shaking up consciousness is a formidable issue when the social climate becomes tense and when minds become radicalized. Music is then perhaps a form of shimmering diplomacy that Manou Gallo masters to perfection to gently tilt strong convictions, fixed ideas, erroneous statements.
The damnly slapped ornamentations of this syncopated rereading certainly hammer out a subject that is still relevant today, but they also demonstrate, if it was still useful, Manou Gallo's aptitudes to give shine to a work of the past without disguise it. The rhythm remains the matrix in this adaptation respectful of the original humor. This first extract from an album, carried by reverence to the great figures of yesteryear, sparkles, sings, dances, but also invites us to wonder about the behaviors and issues of our time. This Lady has not finished enchanting us!
By Joe Farmer
MARIO, MY LETTER
À YACÉ by Manou Gallo presentation of the single
In September 2002, a rebellion raged in Abidjan and numerous deadly confrontations took place all over the city. Marcelin Yacé, my adoptive father, is one of the victims. Coming out of his studio, he is riddled with bullets ... For 19 years, there has never been an investigation into these assassinations. I am a musician, a free woman and with this song, I want to denounce the silence of the different political powers over this period. It's something that's inside of me that never came out ...
Today I want to express myself and say things with my words. For that, I use my weapon, the music. This beautiful guitar and brass melody of the great Franco gave me the inspiration to write this text.
By Manou Gallo
Politicians, they no longer have dignity
Politicians will do anything for power
They go crazy, they go crazy
Betrayal, manipulation, division, lie
They murdered you without humanism
No more morals, only mediocrity is on the march
More depth than the superfluous
They do not respect the value of work,
they do not respect the dignity of work
Mediocre thieves, assassins, incompetent gang, Your time on earth will be insignificant
You will leave with your hate and your division
We want men and women with a vision We want men and women of integrity
We want peace, love, to live