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Mory Djely & Jean Philippe Rykiel






Mory Djely Kouyaté & Jean Philippe Rykiel

When speaking about Afrojazz, we often try to get two different continents and cultures closer and to mention “the blue note’s coming back on the black continent”. “Tinkiso” does not fall into those foresees: it is the unlikely but evident collaboration between a griot and a “sound designer”, a voice and a piano. The first one is Mory Djely Kouyaté’s and the second one is Jean-Philippe Rykiel’s.

This ambitious album had to be: in 1989, the musicians met each other for the first time. On one side, Jean-Philippe Rykiel, Africa and African music lover since he discovered the French France Inter radio program “Bananas”, and fascinated by the electronic explorations of Pierre Henry and the bebop of Thelonious Monk. Blind from birth, the stylist Sonia Rykiel’s son goes though many musical experiences, one day playing with Lokua Kanza, Salif Keita, Papa Wemba, Youssou Ndour or the Super Rail Band, the day after sharing some melodies with Leonard Cohen, Jon Hassel, Vangelis, Jacques Higelin, Brigitte Fontaine or the Tibetan monk Lama Gyourmé.
In front of him, on the same road, Mory Djely Kouyaté, social conscience of Guinea, considered as the most talented tenor of mandingo music.

Mory Djely Kouyaté & Jean Philippe Rykiel

They just could have changed a few words and go their ways; instead, they decided to stop, gathering their musical fluid. Although they already went on stage together, for instance at Africolor Festival (2003 – Paris), and had some phonographic collaborations, it is the first time for them to work around only one piano.

Mixed music more than a simple swing and mandingo music crossing, Tinkiso brings an original colour, extracted from a natural pigment, to this “World Jazz”. The squeamishness of the piano suggests the characteristics of the kora, and coats the strong opera singing of the tenor. Fully free to their improvisations, Jean-Philippe Rykiel et Mory Djely Kouyaté had only one idea: “to highlight the voice strength of an acoustic jewel box”. So as the song entitled “Tinkiso” – as well as the album – “in which Mory Djely’s Africa, the Gospel and even a Rock music aspect are drawn and remind me the Beatles” describes the pianist.




Tinkiso, a guinean river name for an album? Simply because the song was entitled first and they liked it. We could think about the river flowing and flowing…a way to symbolise the improvisations flow which leaded this project.

Actually, “Tinkiso”’s spring was in Rykiel’s studio, in Paris, when the two friends were jamming, under the glance of the manager producer Otis Mbaye, totally amazed himself.
“Nothing was played with a metronome since it makes music harder” adds the composer. This entire river trip along, forgotten lands are approached, such as “Diarabi” or “Simbo”. Further, praises singings of “Sonia”, a tribute to Rykiel’s mother by the tenor.
Each one of the songs represents an improvised call.

Benoit Merlin


Video link :

Mory Djely Kouyaté & Jean Philippe Rykiel Biography  Biographie Mory Djely Kouyaté & Jean Philippe Rykiel



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