«Just Friends trio» …..Remember Bill Evans….
This project was born from a friendship between 3 jazz musicians, who have a big common passion named Bill Evans.
While Yannic Seddiki, Pierre Cretel and Chris Belpièri worked as sidemen to accompany the french jazz singer Emma Demandre during the last years, they played inbetween instrumental pieces, and they always choosed all together some pieces from the repertoire of Bill Evans. They decided to build a trio.
Dynamism and passion are the main characteristics of this trio. After a concert, the trio received per email the following witnessing:”While you were playing, we were moved somewhere, and this trip you offered us, has allowed us to forget for a while the troubles of our lives. Your Philosophy, your passion, your backgrounds, your way of life you explained us after the show were just magic. This email was sent from a research worker at the “CNRS”, and big fan of jazz music! A Cartesian scientist who was moved “somewhere else “during our gig! Just amazing!
This is in 1959 that Bill Evans created his regular trio, with the bass player Scott Lafaro and the drummer Paul Motian. The 3 partners brought really a new philosophy in the play. The bass player and the drummer were no more only “accompanying musicians” but they offered a real play of improvisation all 3 together, the bass player and the drummer at the same level than the pianist. This new synergy between the 3 musicians was new and really specific and modern at this time.
«Just Friends» has the same philosophy. Freedom… Freedom and interaction between the 3 members of the trio. The pianist Yannic Seddiki has a very dynamic play, comparable to the play of Keith Jarrett. He has the strength to charm everybody in the room when he is playing. His dynamism and his provocations play in the hands of the drummer Chris Belpièri with his free style, and also the bass player Pierre Cretel who can express himself freely.
By «Just Friends», the pianist includes in his “speech” some harmonic colors that come from the classical background of Yannic Seddiki, (Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, etc…). You can also find in his play the art of “voicing”, but always at the upper part of the piano, in order to provide place for the bass player. You will also find a high level of sophistication in the rhythm (displacement, polyrhythms, etc…).
All that together brings to a melody with much tenderness….
Bill Evans played very often the Broadway songs, but was also a very inspired composer. Many of his compositions are from now on great jazz standards like: Waltz for Debby, Very early, Turn out the stars, Time remembered, etc…
«Just Friends» remembers and talks about this jazz period.
Yannic Seddiki begins to learn the piano with the age of 8 at the Conservatory in Denain (North of France).
Philippe Keller, his first teacher, passes on his passion for this musical instrument and the art for the interpretation of great pieces and great composers, like Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, etc… Yannic continues his study at the Conservatory of Cambrai with Frederic Vaysse-Knitter and Anael Bonnet, and then at the Conservatory of Roubaix with Olivier Penven.
He obtains his gold medal in classical piano in 2008. He improves his play and extends hisrepertoire (Ravel, Prokofiev, Ligeti...).Yannic studies in parallel the Musicology at the University of Lille in order to be able to teach, and to take part in many musical projects.
His great technique and huge musical knowledges allow him to play in different groups and styles like: Rythm’n Blues, Soul, Rock, french songs, etc.
In 2011, he plays for the first time in a big band and discovers the repertoire of the jazz standards. Very surprised that the jazz has such a rich history, he decides to learn more about jazz at the Conservatory of Douai with famous jazz musicians like Phil Abraham, Raphael Debacker, Thomas Grimmonprez. He participates in Masterclasses with Benoît Sourisse, Bruno Martinez, Christophe Hache, Jérémy Ternoy at the Conservatory of Lille, or take also part in Masterclasses with Yaron Herman and Hugh Coltman,in the frame of the international Tourcoing Jazz Festival.
Yannic falls in Love with jazzand forms his first jazzgroup named « Seddiki Jazz Band» in 2012. Aware that jazz music must be learned on stage, he creates an association in order to organize concerts and promote young talented musicians from the north of France.
Yannic has a real passion for jazz musicians like Yaron Herman, Tigran Hamasyan, Mark Guiliana, Dhafer Youssef, Shai Maestro, Avishai Cohen.
In 2013, he creates his first trio with Tom Laffolay (bass) and Thomas Vasseur (drums). This trio is based on own compositions. This trio appeared on stage at the jazz festival in Montonvillers in France in 2014.
He met in 2014 in Lille Jean Marc Caron (bass) and Patrick Mullié (drums). This is for Yannic the opportunity to improve his play in the repertoire of Cool jazz, Bebop, Hard bop. He puts into practice his love for pianists like Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal and McoyTiner.
Yannic finds in a triothe necessary space for his creativity. He wants to develop his own universe with his many influences, culture and own personality.
That is his goal today! A first album named « Opus 1 » is since last year available.
Pierre Cretel, born in 1975 in the north of France, begins to learn the piano with the age of 10. After several years of personal teaching at home, he succeeds to enter at the private school of classical piano “Nerini and Bellan” in Paris at the age of 17.
In 1993, he began to work at the jazz department of the Conservatory/music school of Lille and worked with the following famous jazz teachers in France: Cyrille Wamberghe (piano), and Jean François Canape (trumpet), Gérard Marais (Guitar), Guy Gilbert (drums).
He obtained an award in classical piano at the conservatory in Lille in 1995.
He participates in many masterclasses like: Boyan Z (pianist), Claude Bartélémy (french guitarist, 2 timesDirector of the « l’O.N.J” National Jazz Orchestra), Dominique Pifarély (French violinist in jazz and modern music) and Steve Swallow (American bass player).
In 2000, Pierre Cretel decided to begin to learn the bass. He learned with some famous teachers like Catherine Rey (Conservatory of Lille), Valérie Dubus (Conservatory of Roubaix), Julien Surmont (Music school in Bondues) and Jocelyn Lapotre (Conservatory in Dunkirk).
Pierre Cretel participates in many musical projects, as pianist and bassplayer (classical, jazz, improvisation…)
Pierre Cretel is also a teacher, and is the head of the jazz department at the conservatory in Gravelines (North of France) since 2013.
Chris Belpièri was born in 1962 and has growing up in a family of talented musicians. From the cradle onwards, he attends the parties and balls in the neighbouring villages. His grandfather was accordionist, always playing everywhere, and two cousins were brilliant musicians: Jacques Ingelaere, accordionist, saxophone player and bass player, and his brother, Roland, pianist and organist, and later on Director of a music school. Both will show the way to Chris.
During the summer 1974, he will fall in Love with this instrument and decided to learn how to play drums. He met the drummer “Bobby”, famous drummer of the Rock band “The stocks”, during a tour in Europe of the Achille Zavatta circus.
The book tour will last 6 months. During all this period, Chris Belpièri will stay at every gig back the drummer and watch.Watch how the drummer plays in order to understand. And of course between the gigs he puts into practice what he has learned and observed.
In September 1974, Chris Belpièri will be teached by the extraordinary drummer and teacher at the Conservatory of Douai, Mr Jean-Louis Raison. He will learn with the famous method of Dante Agostini. For Chris Belpieri, Jean-Louis raison is still today his model. Jean-Louis Raison brought many of his students at a very high level. Nevertheless, Chris Belpièri will develop a free style, because he does not want to imitate somebody else, or be a “little piece of many others drummers”.
In November 1976, his cousin, Roland Ingelaere called him to make replacement of the drummer for his « Big band jazz », at the“ Colisée de Roubaix”. Chris is 16, this is his first big show, and he succeed! As of this day, he will be the drummer in many bands, many styles like: Franck Salvatori, Les Blues Star’s….. In France, the 70’ and 80’ was the period of glory for the balls, always with live orchestra.Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday is live music everywhere. Chris Belpieri plays also in classical orchestra. He has an indelible memory of the piece« Night on Bald Mountain » by Moussorgski, and also « the symphony from the new world » by Dvorak.
Despite he likes the classical repertoire, Jazz and blues are his passion. This is his « cellular DNA». He creates the webzine « Chtijazz.com », travels all around the world, plays in the USA (for example the « Biscuits and Blues » in San Francisco), visits many jazz clubs in the USA and in Europa, listens thousands of albums, makes a lot of interviews like Archie Shepp, Richard Galliano, Lucky Peterson, Anne Ducros…. Each meeting is for him a new opportunity to understand more, to exchange the experiences, the vision of the music, etc. This is a neverending task…..
Chris Belpièri will work with so many bands as sideman. In 2013, he met for the first time Pierre Cretel at the Jazz club of Dunkirk, and then in 2014, he met for the first time Yannic Seddiki during a show. The feeling is good between those 3 guys and they decided to begin to play together. They played very often some Standards composed by Bill Evans. They came to the idea to build a project around this great musician and composer.
If you one day met Chris Belpièri, don’t talk him about your musical education in famous schools or gold medals! He will answer you:
Show me and play, only play ! Don’t tell me who you are, show me who you are !!!!!