Conichichi

11/12/2004

Tribute to Don D.

Classé sous: — Nicolas @ 6:58 pm

Où la vie tourmentée d’un génial trombonniste :

Don D et Clement Coxson

Je vais commencer par une petite biographie du maître.
Don drummond est né 1943 à Kingston (en Jamaïque bien sûr), et peu de gens (à part quelques personnes l’ayant bien connu jeune) connaissent sa vie dans ses jeunes années.
Si ce n’est qu’il est rentré à la alpha school, une école religieuse catholique très stricte pour garçon, destinée avant tout aux classes pauvres et défavorisées. Cette école avait beau être rigide, il y était également donné un enseignement musical de grande qualité, dans la tradition européenne des marches et de la musique classique. Il est bon de rappeler qu’à cette époque là, la Jamaïque n’est pas encore indépendante, et était sous la férule anglaise.
Don d. sortie de cette école, major, et comme une source d’inspiration pour les autres et pour lui-même grâce à son instrument fétiche, le trombonne.
Il obtient par la même occasion un poste de formateur, logique vu son talent.

Don D. rejoignit un big bang jamaicain en 1955, après qu’il vu fut élu meilleur tromboniste de l’île en 1954 (soit à l’âge 10 ans)…
Après quelques temps dans cette formation, il forma son propre groupe, the Don Drummond Four, et participait également en tant qu’invité aux sound systems où l’excellent MC Clement “Coxone” Dodd officiait.
Don. D commença à sortir des enregistrements en Jamaïque et en Angleterre, qui eurent du succès, son premier enregistrement paru vers 1956, sous le nom “On the beach".

En 1964, Coxsone eut l’idée géniale de rassembler les meilleurs instrumentistes de l’île pour former un dream band, les skatalites. La direction musicale du groupe était assurée par l’excellent Jackie Mittoo, qui avant de participer à ce groupe, était dans the Sheiks (celui par contre aurait eu moins d’avenir à cause de son nom).
Dans les skatalites on retrouvait entre autre:

  • Johnny “Dizzy” Moore à la trompette
  • Lloyd Knibbs à la batterie
  • Jackie Mittoo au clavier

Tommy McCook se rapporte aussi aux skatalites, mais à cause de problèmes d’égos il refusa de rejoindre le groupe dans un premier temps.
Mittoo se tourna vers Don. D pour les compositions, et ce fut un choix judicieux tant il était prolifique comme auteur.
Puis le groupe fut au complet après que finallement Tommy McCook (excellent saxophoniste au passage), Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Brevett à la contrebasse, Jah Jerry et Ernest Ranglin à la guitare rejoignent le groupe.

Don D. réussit quand même à rentrer dans le top 10 anglais, en 1964 avec man in the street, en 1967 avec sa reprise du thème des canons de Navaronne. Sa réussite confirmée par le fait qu’il était vu dans le top 5 des meilleurs trombonnistes au monde.

Mais malheuresement pour lui, le haut de l’affiche touche à sa fin, quand en 1964 on annonce le meurtre de Anita Mahfood, une danceuse de 23 ans et sa compagne du moment. Don. D en effet est allé voir le poste police, en déclarant que sa compagne s’est suicidé en se poignardant.
La police retrouve dans sa chambre sa compagne raide morte, le corps transpersé de nombreux coups de couteaux, le couteau resté planté.
Bien sûr Don. D fut jugé coupable toutes les preuves étant contre lui.
Don D. fut incarcéré à l’asile de “Belle Vue ” (sic), jusqu’en 1969 où il meurt dans d’étranges circonstances.

Don D. mourut dans des circonstances étranges, en prison à l’âge de 27 ans, comme si il y avait eu un passage à tabac, un réglement de compte. Les mystères entourant le meurtre de sa compagne reste entiers. Qu’est-il arrivé ? Une prise de bec. Il est bon de signaler que Don. D, faisait souvent des voyages à l’hospital psychiatrique pour instabilité mentale, mais bon la certitude de tels faits reste floue.
La morale de l’histoire (si il y en a une…), c’est que l’âge n’est rien comparé au talent. Don. D fut un puit d’inspiration pour beaucoup de personnes, pour ses ainés (Rico Rodriguez lui doit beaucoup et continue encore et encore à lui rendre hommage), pour la musique (et culture jamaïcaine).
Ces chansons sont reprises par des groupes du monde entier, qui n’a jamais entendu (pour ceux s’intéressant un minimum au ska ou la Musique) man in the street, garden of love, latin goes ska, ringo , schooling the duke
Et je me dis quel gâchis qu’il soit mort si tôt et que ce fait-divers tragique ait eu lieu. Je sais qu’avec des “si” on pourrait refaire le monde, mais il aurait pu faire beaucoup encore.
Il a quand même composé 300 chansons, et a une vitesse qui ferait pâlir d’envie beaucoup de compositeurs.
Mais bon laissons le passé au passé, et n’oublions pas cet artiste unique, qui su donner au trombonne et à la musique jamaïcaine ses lettres de noblesse.

don 2 don 3

Sources :
Page consacrée à Don Drummond
Théorie sur le meurtre de Don D.
L’histoire du jazz, ska et reggae jamaïcain par le collectif assassin

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