Jean-Pierre Bertrand Biography
The musical process of Jean-Pierre Bertrand
In 1969, at the age of 14 Jean-Pierre Bertrand decided to interrupt his study of classical piano to throw himself into Blues and Boogie Woogie piano. The wind of change during May 1968, an adolescent crisis, thirst from freedom and improvisation, a need to widen a horizon that was too formal in the work of reading classical music. There are indeed so many reasons pushing Jean-Pierre to explore a new path, but he felt very deeply that it was his own.
An encounter with the acoustic, melodic, rhytmic and harmonic instrument : the piano, and an energy specifically bearing the imprint of "Feeling" to adopt a musical culture that has nothing European, nor even anything white about it since Blues and Boogie Woogie are essentially Black and Afro-American creations. The mixting of genres, Blues was first of all Gospel, working songs and monotonous tunes chanted by slave workers at the start of the century in the Southern states of America.
Jean-Pierre Bertrand wishes to express the diverse facets of emotions, sometimes suave, feminine and discreet, sometimes fiery, unrefined and virile. The characteristic tempo of the left hand constitutes an element of fascination. The components of Jean-Pierre's music are : rythm, cadence, creative energy, joy, passion, going beyond the routine.
Indeed, it is on a recurring 12 step theme that Jean-Pierre uses colour palette patterns, made available to him by the instrument : the piano.
Hammers hitting the strings manage to generate unique rhytmic aspects. Calm or violent, they are, as Marguerite Yourcenar put it, the fluctuations of jazz music.
Improvisation that comes from spontaneaous creativity in Blues and Boogie Woogie is available to the jazz standards. Original melodies are intégrated in the outline of Blues or Boogie Woogie, giving them another life.
This very strong, vital instinct is the very essence of Jean-Pierre Bertrand's musical expression. Renewal, departure, return, movement, action, the obsessive quest for vitality in contrast with the ephemeral nature of everything. The spirit of the music is eternal, a universal architecture obeying laws of vibration that combine tension and release, anticipation and complete surprise.
The rythm of Boogie Woogie comes in a variety of forms from the vital beating of the human heart ; the middle register tempo of the ballad supposes calm and the intense emotion makes you climb the scales of a cadence that is at times reckless, and with which the listener can identify.
A direct expression that is easily understood because it is melodious, Boogie Woogie was born in the large urban centres of the USA and was without doubt the most dynamic form of jazz that existed. An expression of musicians'hope and at the same time the tremendous energy that accompanies any desire to give, to please, to love and to bring to life.