Momo, le doyen

© Les Films du Paradoxe
Genre : Musical
Type : Documentary
Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2006
Format : Feature

This documentary brings back to life the artist who was able to tell North Americans: "Jazz was born in your land, but I took it back to my land, Africa, because its there that it finds its source."
A true king of swing and improvisation, Momo Wandel Soumah (1926-2003) was the doyen of African jazz. He created his music without composing it, by drawing inspiration from popular songs, and by bringing together around his voice - sounding like a kind of "Louis Armstrong who's come out of his savannah" - and his old, beaten up sax, the great masters of traditional African instruments: kora, balafon, pastoral flute, djembé, etc.
Momo's music resembled a magical cocktail capable of transporting you without a warning from traditional music to the avant garde.
Born in Guinea in the late twenties, Momo Le Doyen was a privileged witness of contemporary African history: he experienced the colonial era with his orchestras only allowed to perform for whites-only balls and the independence of 1958, after which he spent twenty-six years in the national orchestras of President Sékou Touré's Guinean revolution.
A few years ago, his sensational entry into the new Circus Baobab troupe (the first African aerial circus) as composer and head musician enabled him to be discovered beyond the borders of his own country. Laurent Chevallier, his partner during the last ten years of his life, tells the marvelous tale of this jazz king in MOMO LE DOYEN. An African doyen whose life, from dawn to dusk, was steeped in his songs, his notes, his swing.

Director: Laurent Chevallier

Producers : Patrick Villeneuve, Sabrina Azoulay, Valérie Abita
Director of Photography : Laurent Chevallier
Sound Recordists : Erik Ménard, Olivier Schwob
Production Manager : Rodolphe Legentil
Press Attaché (film) : François Vila
Editors : Matthieu Augustin, Clara Bouffartigue
Production Assistant : Eric Hallier
Composer : Momo Wandel Soumah
Grader : Pascal Torbey
Sound Mixer : Stéphane Larrat

Associate production company : Sombrero and Co
French distribution : Les Films du Paradoxe

Feature film
Genres : Documentary
Themes : Music
Production language : French
Production year : 2006
French release : 25/04/2007
Runtime : 1h 23mn
Current status : Released
Visa number : 115.927
Visa issue date : 08/03/2007
Approval : Unknown
Production formats : 35mm
Screening format : 35mm
Color type : Color and Black & White
Aspect ratio : 1.66
Sound format : Stereo


Director: Laurent Chevallier

Géneros : Documental
Temas : Música
Idioma de rodaje : Francés
Año de producción : 2006
Estreno en Francia : 25/04/2007
Duración : 1h 23mn
Situación actual : Estrenada
Visa número : 115.927
Visa emitida el : 08/03/2007
Autorización : Desconocido
Formatos de producción : 35 mm
Formato de proyección : 35 mm
Tipo de color(es) : Color y blanco y negro
Cuadro : 1,66
Formato de sonido : Estéreo


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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