"Free, Always and Forever ..."

First opening of cages doors ... 2011...

 

Gilles LE REST, drummer ...   Laurent SKOCZEK, trombonist ...

Friends since their childhood spent in Lorraine (North-East of France), they’ve always had the very same goal : Get Free, Get Oxygen, Share, Be Moved, Celebrate with Music …

 

FREE HUMAN ZOO was born after their first band ODYSSEUM (Joce Mienniel, Jef Sicard, Emmanuel Guerrero, Nicolas Grammosenis) was shelved. Odysseum was a “worldly“ adventure, in love with West-African Muses.

FREE HUMAN ZOO is at a crossroad, from the rockiest path to the softest one,

where wishes meet, where emotions mix, where few walk with neither calculation nor analysis, where it is easy to find yourself alone, alone but so glad to walk differently on a different path, which could be called “the Hybridisation Way“…

Long pieces, where narrative tableaux succeed to each other …    Impression !

 

Omnipresent rhythm, cyclic, organic ...    Impulsion !

 

Harmonic structures, improvisations, respirations ...   Oxygenation !

 

Where can we find this ZOO ? Always in an unexpected place ...    Exploration !

Time matters no more ...

Fashion matters no more ...

Farewell Rules !

Lets get free, and even freer …

 

With one single goal: EMANCIPATION !

 

Make Instinct and Intellect come together …

Give Birth to an Animan, a Humanimal ...

To tell us Stories, to give us a complete World ...

A loving World ...

 

Not much Technicality, no Strength demonstration,

Feelings … Only Feelings ...

As a Gift … Just to share ...

The musicians :​

Next to Laurent and Gilles, Nicolas FEUGER (bass) is the first musician to join the FREE HUMAN ZOO. His way of playing, all at the same time round and full brings an obvious steady base to the bass/drums duet, while giving space to harmonic and melodic surges.

 

Almost at the same time (2011), Samy THIEBAULT (tenor sax and flute) cleverly decides to join the new born band too.  With a joyful  and powerful Coltranian way of playing, his chants are always unexpected. Samy is the strong link between the artistic universes of the FREE HUMAN ZOO and the jazzclubs.

Samy is a major player of the Jazz scene in France and is a permanent surprise leading big bands ("Upanishad Experiences“), paying a great tribute to the Doors ("A Feast of Friends"), playing unexpected introspective pieces such as his crystalline "Rebirth" (2016), his amazing and swaying "Caribbean Stories“ (2018) or his so polyphonic "Symphonic Tales" (2019).

Patrice KORNHEISER (piano, keyboards) is another founding member of the band. Having been a longtime choirmaster, he was of great importance to the set up of the orchestra, through a rich and solid way of playing mixed, with a romantic and very latin creativity.

 

 

 

Dan DECRAUZE (guitars) joins the band around the same period. His solid experience as a music film composer, gives him an uncommon palette of sounds, where introspection meets mystery and extremely energetic and distorted surges. For "FREEDOM, NOW !", Dan mastered and taped all the guitars bits, including the beautiful introduction for "Amour moteur, Matrice“ (“Love as a Driving Force, Love as a Matrix“).

Gildas MARTIN is a generous and prolific guitarist, precise and very creative, finding his inspiration into the Zappaian opus. He honoured the band by his presence during the recording of their first EP "Aïki Dõ RéMy“, in 2014.

In 2015-2016, the band welcomes two new musicians :

 

Matthieu ROSSO is a perfectly versatile guitar player, always searching for the “unexpected“, the “unheard“ thing. He offers the band a new energy, both airy and poetically “underground“. Always looking for innovative music, Matthieu is also the leader of the “RED QUARTET“, and takes part into the superb “Symphonie d’une Nuit sans Etoile“ / “Symphony for a Starless Night“ (Dédale Music).

Emmanuel GUERRERO (piano, keyboards) is a real groovy melodist strongly influenced by latino-american musics. He is a Rhythm player from the very bottom of his soul.

A highly experienced sideman in the jazzy universe just as much as collaborations with Céline DION or Patrick FIORI. New inspirations for the band. Polychromatic and oxygenated. In the Summer 2018, Manu surprises everyone with his wonderful “Nuevo Mondo“, a deeply inspired album in which childhood memories are a stepping stone for a bubbly and sprightly music full of an Andean strength.

(So) Laurent SKOCZEK is, from the very beginning, the trombonist, the arranger, the scribe and the FHZoo webmaster.

 

(So) Gilles LE REST is the composer, the drummer-percussionist-vocalist and, "eventually" (!), the artistic director of the FHZoo.

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Day by day ...

In 2013, the FREE HUMAN ZOO is happily and luckily supported by Stella VANDER and Francis LINON through their label Ex-Tension Records. A cooperation that materialises through FHZ’s first EP (digital version) in February  2014 (“Aïki Dõ RéMy“ , a tribute to Rémy SALVAT’s great energy, that was recorded at the studio MESA -77- thanks to the talented and stubborn Charles FROSSARD). A great thank you for their constructive artistic support and their help in the production choices. In September 2014, it’s thanks to them again and to Christian VANDER, that FHZ was invited to perform on the Triton stage (in Les Lilas-Paris) as the opening act for MAGMA/OFFERING.

A generous way of mentoring FHZ ...

Let us deeply thank the film maker Michel OCELOT ("Kirikou", "Azur and Asmar", Nord-Ouest Production), who allowed the band to use Asmar and Kirikou’s mum profiles for their pictures.

 

So be gratefully thanked the WWF France (for letting Gilles use their panda’s figure on his bass drum), through Raphaëlle GOLDENBERG, Julie VANDER and Hervé CHARLET (Seventh Records), the SACEM, the FCM (and more specifically Aurélie HEUX and Raphaëlle AUGEARD), PIAS/Harmonia Mundi, BERTUS Distribution France, the ADAMI (Francois BONCOMPAIN), Dominique LOHNHERR (MFA), the SCPP (Aurore MOURAO, Lucie FAGETTI and Sandrine MORLET), MPO Direct France (Sandrine BOURD), the Val d’Oise’s Departemental Board (Habiba IDERRAIS and Fabrice HUBERT), the Combo 95 (David PHELIPPE) and the towns of  Presles (95) and Hettange-Grande (57).

 

"But let’s not forget Georges PACZYNSKI (and his enthusiastic humanism), Simon GOUBERT (for his friendly guidance), Jean-Paul MELINDJI ("so groovy"and enthusiastic "Biguy", who believes in the human being like nobody else !),  Jean-Paul DAROUX (our friend and nevertheless musical poet), Xavier NAPORA (for his sharing and his great energy), Jean-Christophe ALLUIN, Karl-Heinz HEIDENREICH and Anders BLYSTAD (always so concerned), the TRITON’s team (including Jimmy, Jean-Pierre and Jacques VIVANTE), the SUNSET-SUNSIDE (Stéphane PORTET and Agnès MINETTO), "LA BAGUETTERIE-Paris" (especially Oscar, Laurent, Régis, Romain, Peter, Mazid, Stéphane and Philippe), the BOPCITY studio (Max JESION and friends), the GRAND CERCLE/Eragny-sur-Oise (Clément TAVONI and Cédric SEMPE), the FNAC at Les Halles-Paris (Sébastien TRANCHANT), and Cyril MANCHET, our great piano tuner.

 

Of course, a warm thank-you for our generous images makers : Christine SAVINI, Stéphane ROUPPERT, Christian LE REST, Jeff HUMBERT, Guillaume LECOMPTE-BOINET and Sébastien SCHILLINGER.

 

We cannot forget the permanent, passionate and unfailling support of the ODUSSEIA’s members (Christèle ROUSSELOT, Sabine DUVIVIER, Véronique, Chloé and José FERNANDES, Sophie RAHOUI, Corinne LAVEN and André LEVITTE), our production structure. Neither can we not be grateful to the members of  the sister-association "Regards Croisés" (Manue VACA and Klaas HUIZENGA, Yamina LE ROUX, Jean-Marie GUILLOTIN, Gilles MONSILLON ... and all the others that will recognise themselves …)

 

Just like the excellent English translation of these lines, the so beautiful work of our friend Corinne LAVEN, herself supported by Jérémy QUARTERMAINE. Thanks !

And of course, of course (!!!) : a great thank you to YOU, YOU all ! You who support us, You who are always there,  You who belong just as much to our anthropo-musical adventure, You who give us unlimited Hope ...

 

For you, my Friends ...

Those without who ... ... ... ..."         G

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 "FREEDOM, NOW !", 2016

 

This album was made between 2014 and 2016, and would not exist without the efficient and artistic help of Marcus LINON, sound engineer. He acted almost like a 7th musician in the FREE HUMAN ZOO. His talent allowed us “the best“.

He friendly welcomed us in his mythical Kramus Deluxe/GREASY RECORDS studio, where everything is at its top. He took part into the emancipation of the project, by adding sounds coming from “somewhere else“, by his unique way of mixing and recording, and by his fabulous patience.

Working by his side will have been an amazing experience for all the members of the band.

And that is how "FREEDOM, NOW !" was born.

 

The album cover is a piece of art created by Gérald NIMAL, a graphic designer (http://www.adlib.fr/) who managed to put our ideas to life with a lot of poetry and subtlety.

 

An infinite thank you to him.       

 

G

 "NO WIND TONIGHT ...", 2018-19

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"NO WIND TONIGHT ..." , or the crazy adventure of a double-album …

A musical epic where the colours of the sounds are those of Hope ...

The quest for a hybridisation fully lived and loved …

 

Built around “Bab’Y“ a long musical piece about memories, this new album is the ultimate confirmation of the extremely hybrid aesthetic of the band. It insists on the deep and shared desire to tell new “little stories“, “slices of life“, unexpected encounters, always keeping in mind the profound desire to remain free …

“That’s one of the reasons why, from January to Summer 2018, we were so lucky to work side by side with Vincent MAHEY and his team (Arthur GOURET, Nathanaël, Fatou, François and Nicolas -studio SEXTAN-La Fonderie/Malakoff-), a team of sounds carvers always ready to support a musical adventure, always sincerely caring for the poet-composers that we try to be, always moved when the music is given birth, whatever kind it may be …

 

The happiness was, we hope so, shared on both sides.

Together, we tried to achieve the best balance as possible between a purely acoustic recording and a powerful “pop-rock“ one, as much in live as possible. Vincent and Arthur have this rare talent to be able of a “sound compromise“ which we much appreciated.

 

We were also very privileged to have special guests several times :

Camille FRITSCH, spontaneous but with an under control let it go, who accompanied us with her voice on Curritur ad Vocem ...,

Jocelyn MIENNIEL, joined us with his outstanding flute on several pieces of this double album …

Bruno ORTEGA, the always smiling-eyed man, and his bass recorder. Serene and zen !

And Jonathan EDO, enthusiastic and invigorating, who spiced with his percussion, other moments of our opus.

During the recording of "NO WIND TONIGHT ...", we welcomed three benevolent and talented photographers : Jeff HUMBERT, Stéphane ROUPPERT and Christian LE REST.

 

In October 2018, Marcus LINON (GREASY RECORDS Studio/Montmagny), mastered" NO WIND TONIGHT …" A quest for excellence to get a “full, polychrome and invested sound“. His final was just as unexpected as well balanced.

 

 

From September to November 2018, we worked on our cover and booklet with the so inspired Gérald NIMAL, graphic designer (AD LIB Communication Multimédia/Tresboeuf). A master es-patience who understood perfectly what we had in mind !

 

This very same Autumn we gave the final making-up of this double album to the extremely professional “ateliers MPO France“. Just as in 2016 for"FREEDOM, NOW !", it was a great pleasure.

 

"NO WIND TONIGHT ..."would not exist without the extreme tenacity of the FHZ musicians ; the unfailling support of the ODUSSEIA’s members, our production structure ; the backing of our friends from  Ex-Tension Records ; the support of our financial partners (ADAMI, SACEM, Ministry of Culture) ; our generous donators through a crowdfunding campaign in Summer 2018, without who our project would have never come to an end.

Thank you to all those wonderful energies, who give us the ultimate motivation to move forward …

Lots of love to you all,

And a great THANK YOU !

And may this album accompany you all as far and as high as possible …

Lets blow the winds …

SURSUM CORDA !  “  

(Lift up your hearts !)

 

G

A l'automne 2020, le FREE HUMAN ZOO aura (pour la 1ère fois de sa rocambolesque histoire) l'honneur de traverser les frontières, en répondant à la fraternelle invitation du FREAKSHOW Festival de Würzburg (RFA). A cette occasion, et avec un bonheur non dissimulé, le groupe accueillera en son sein, quatre nouveaux musiciens, presque tous issus de la bouillonnante et très fertile scène rock-prog/musiques "minimalistes" :

Camille PETIT : compositeur prolifique et très inspiré pianiste, à la riche et impressionniste palette sonore, co-leader des groupes Ghost Rhythms et Lady With, Camille s'est rapidement ouvert à toutes les formes de musiques actuelles, en cultivant une évidente propension à l'exploration des genres et des styles, tout différents soient-ils. De formation classique, son terrain de jeu(x) favori reste l'émergence d'une dynamique réussie, elle-même issue des apports écriture-improvisation. Son arrivée au sein du groupe stimule notre quête d'une musique vivante, mouvante et sachant se diversifier au mieux. En effet, parfaitement rompu aux séquences répétitives et "sérielles", Camille se plaît aussi à visiter toutes nos séquences improvisées, et ce avec un enthousiasme communicatif.

Béla BLUCHE : bassiste et contrebassiste passionné et passionnant, profondément mû par la quête d'un son plein et généreux, tonique et délicieusement dansant. Musicien particulièrement éclectique, Béla sait s'ouvrir à toutes les musiques, à tous les styles, à tous les genres, si tant est qu'ils génèrent vitalité, chaloupe, coups de théâtre et rebonds. En cela, il a su développer une vraie singularité dans son propos, singularité marquée d’un phrasé à la fois "groovy", "mélodiste" et particulièrement précis. Créateur du Anoesis Trio, une réunion de trois amis qui explorent ici ses propres compositions, subtils tableaux sonores offrant un inédit programme d'une bonne heure de musique, il accompagne également le pianiste Dimitris Saroglou, tout comme le Big Bass Band de Frank Nelson.

Matthieu METZGER : en trois mots, polyvalence, exploration, partage. Saxophoniste, compositeur, réalisateur, musicologue et luthier électronique, Matthieu étudie les saxophones aux côtés de Philippe Di Betta durant seize années, avant d'intégrer l'ONJ de Daniel Yvinec, le quintet de Louis Sclavis et le Grand Ensemble de Marc Ducret, tout en développant ses  talents de réalisateur ( "Tower",  Marc Ducret ; albums de Rhizottome ; opus d'Arthurus d'Archer, entre autres ...). Ouvert à toutes les expériences porteuses de sens, c'est sans étonnement qu'on le retrouve en d'autres bien bonnes compagnies : l'ensemble Ictus, le projet Inspiration Baroque, le surprenant quatuor nippo-français Niwashi no Yume, l'ensemble Amarillis, ou encore  Rhizottome. Toujours inattendu, toujours "en quête de" ..., Matthieu est tout autant attiré par l'aspect poétique et social de la musique, qu'il ne l'est par les moyens techniques de lui donner vie. Salutaire élan !...

Tom NAMIAS : guitariste et compositeur au talent multiforme, toujours enclin à la "visite" d'univers musicaux assurément originaux, Tom cultive la passion des constructions collectives. C'est particulièrement vrai dans les différentes déclinaisons de son projet The Long Distance Ensemble, big band aux couleurs joyeusement tribales, dans lequel il ré-apprivoise la musique de Steve Reich, et notamment la très palpitante suite "Tehillim". Bien souvent, on le retrouvera (non moins joyeusement) aux côtés d'Augustin Lusson, violoniste prolifique et parfaitement enjoué, avec qui il forme le duo DSF Jhâze. Tom est aussi un homme du son, des sons, et il lui tient à coeur de toujours créer une signature sonore bien estampillée, une touche picturale collant à l'esprit de chacun de nos morceaux. Qu'on se le dise ...

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