Special Feature on Tam de Villiers -Jazz Mag No. 673, June 2015


Adept of the esoteric and numerology , guitarist and songwriter, Tam de Villiers, received a “shock” review in our last issue for his third album. A meeting.

One day, having falsely assured a friend that he plays the guitar and could join his rock band, Tam de Villiers learned the guitar in two weeks. His teacher then gave him the keys to a new universe : ” Barney Kessel , Wes Montgomery , John Scofield, Pat Metheny … I was 15 and I gave myself two years to be admitted to the Leeds College of Music where I stayed seven years , including two as a teacher. It was there that I met the pianist Matthew Bourne , with whom I have recently formed a trio along with clarinetist Jean -Brice Godet”.

In front of the music school, on the stage of the Wardrobe music club,  were featured regular gigs of the fresh New York elite : Tim Berne (and hence Marc Ducret ), the Tiny Bell Trio Dave Douglas, Wayne Krantz , Ellery Eskelin , Ben Monder … all personalities that met his need to depart from the conventional well-trodden road.

After settling in France in 2003, he met up again with Marc Ducret, deepened his knowledge through workshops with Malo Vallois and Stéphane Payen in Montreuil, but then paradoxically formed a quartet with musicians outside of this musical “family” with David Prez (who inherits more  from Mark Turner than Tim Berne ), Bruno Schorp (now replaced by Fred Chiffoleau ) and Karl Januska.

” They take my music elsewhere. I compose long forms from esoteric numerology , arithmetic , variations on motifs and mirror effects reminiscent of serial techniques , improvisation can be controlled or free. The personalities and the longevity of the group for eight years ensures a fluidity sometimes lacking in this kind of music . ” If we add the “natural” singing quality of Gabor Winand , we better understand the “shock” review attributed to the third disc by Tam de Villiers, “Panacea”, in our last issue.


Gros plan Tam de Villiers

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