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     C.J. Chenier

Born: Sep 28, 1957 in Port Arthur, TX
Genres: Cajun
Styles: Zydeco, Creole
Instruments: Vocals, Sax (Alto), Accordion

The son of late pioneer of Zydeco music, Clifton Chenier, C.J. Chenier (born: Clayton Joseph Chenier) has been dubbed, "The crown prince of Zydeco'. Since inheriting leadership of his father's group, The Red Hot Louisiana Band", Chenier has continued to pay tribute to his father's sound and to expand the Zydeco tradition. According to The Boston Globe, Chenier (has added blues, New Orleans-style R&B and rock and roll to the two steps and waltzes of his father's Zydeco, creating contemporary, turbo-charged, dance music". While The Washington Post praised Chenier for "taking the genre into the R&B mainstream", Living Blues, claimed that Chenier is "the best living Zydeco singer and accordionist". In a review of a concert by Chenier, The Louisville Courier-Journal wrote, "he played back country two steps, hinted at rock and funk, crossed over into country and sang triple-laced rock ballads in a rich soulful voice".

Chenier's interests in Zydeco were sparked in his early-twenties. Although he studied piano in the third grade, switched to the saxophone a year later and received a scholarship to study music at Texas Southern University, he was drawn to the funky sounds of R&B and modern jazz. Chenier played saxophone, keyboards, flute and sang backup vocals in a top forty cover band, Hot Ice.

In 1978, Chenier was invited to replace saxophonist "Blind" John Hart in his father's band. Although he had little experience with Zydeco music, he accepted the invitation. Over the next decade, he apprenticed with his father, assuming his role as accordion player and bandleader following his father's death in 1987.

Chenier has remained active in a variety of outside projects. In addition to playing on Paul Simon's album, Rhythm Of The Saints, he participated in Simon's Born At The Right Time tour. Chenier was a guest performer on the Gin Blossom's album, New Miserable Experience.

In 1997, Chenier was nominated for a WC Handy award.

- Craig Harris (All Music Guide)


C.J. Chenier's debut Alligator album, TOO MUCH FUN (AL 4830), delivers one memorable performance after another, and it shows why C.J. and the Red Hot Louisiana Band are not just considered one of the best zydeco bands today, but one of the best bands in any genre. The music grooves from the traditional zydeco of Clifton right up to modern funk, all the while infused with the urgency and energy of rock and roll. While that seems like quite a breadth of styles, it all makes sense when you consider that the original Red Hot Louisiana Band was formed by Clifton over 30 years ago, and is now driven by C.J.'s total mastery of the full-size piano accordion, his rich, satisfying vocals, and his background as a jazz and funk saxophone player.

From the instantly hummable "Bad Luck"to the toe-tapping energy of "Too Much Fun"to the remarkable cover of Clifton's "You Used To Call Me,"one thing is instantly clear. This is not just a party album. It is an album that stands on its own, with well-written and well-executed songs. The first radio single,"Man Smart, Woman Smarter,"(a song popularized both by Robert Palmer and the Grateful Dead), shows just what makes C.J. so appealing. Complex, driving rhythms force you to dance. A powerful, soulful vocal delivery and brilliant musicianship force you to listen. The guitar playing of Harry Hypolite (one of the founding members of the original Red Hot Louisiana Band) along with fellow Red Hot Louisiana Band guitarists Jamie Kelly and Mark Major (as well as the guitar work of guest Vasti Jackson on six songs), fueled by the rhythms of bassist John Frederick and drummer Greg Gordon and the percussion of rubboard player Clifford Alexander, Jr. makes TOO MUCH FUN so memorable and enjoyable. Add to the mix the Memphis Horns on four songs, and this album is modern zydeco at its best. It displays C.J.'s distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary music from two-steps to funk to hard rocking blues.

According to Iglauer, it's only natural that C.J. should join Alligator. "C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band are among the most outstanding zydeco bands in the world. They're one of the most exciting live bands playing any kind of music. I'm thrilled to have C.J. on Alligator. "Besides, it's appropriate. Clifton's 1982 Alligator album, I'M HERE (AL 4729) (featuring C.J. on saxophone), won Clifton his - and the label's - first Grammy award. "I'm looking forward to more of the same,"says Iglauer. And so is C.J.

C.J.'s music has always embraced zydeco traditions, but he continues to push the music to new levels. "I won't limit myself,"says C.J. and it's clear why. Born and raised away from the Louisiana Bayou in Port Arthur, Texas, C.J. knew his father was a musician but never listened to his music. He liked James Brown and Funkadelic, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. He learned saxophone early on and as a teenager played in black top 40 bands in Port Arthur. He studied music in college and dreamt of making it as a jazz or funk player.

Then, one week before C.J.'s 21st birthday, Clifton asked him to bring his sax along and join the band. "I didn't know any of the songs they played. I didn't know how to relate to zydeco,"he recalls, "but the guys helped me out and brought me along. And then one day the music hit me, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. "In 1985, as Clifton began to fall ill, C.J., at Clifton's request, picked up the accordion and started opening shows for his father. "He didn't push it,"C.J. remembers, "he let me decide for myself. But when he first called me to go out and play with his band I think it was his idea all along that I would carry on his music. "

After Clifton's death in 1987, C.J. inherited his dad's accordion as well as his band. But he has made the music his own, adding elements of the jazz and funk he listened to, studied in college, and played professionally before joining his father. When asked about his accordion playing, C.J. is quick to say he's still learning. The master was his father, whom "nobody could ever touch,"C.J. says. But others see C.J. as the one to catch. According to the Boston Globe, C.J. "attacks the accordion with the tension and drive of James Brown playing organ....Chenier has added blues, New Orleans-style R&B, and rock and roll to the two-steps and waltzes of his father's zydeco, creating contemporary, turbo-charged dance music. "

With three previous releases and literally thousands of gigs under his belt, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band continue to forge ahead. They've played major festivals like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, San Diego's Street Scene, and Milwaukee's Summerfest. C.J. toured with Paul Simon on the "Born At The Right Time"tour and can be heard on Simon's Rhythm Of The Saints album. But that's not all. He also shows up as a guest on the Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience album.

1995 appearances on the Jon Stewart Show and CNN have brought C.J.'s music to his widest audience yet. But all this attention won't change his philosophy towards his music. "You go to a gig by a jazz band,"he says, "everybody's sitting down, sipping drinks. You play zydeco and you see shoes flying off. You can't come to my show and stay unhappy all night long. You're going to break a smile and stomp your foot before too long. This is happy music and it makes you dance. "

With TOO MUCH FUN, C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band have created a rare treat - a zydeco album that's equally at home fueling a wild party or entertaining a single person. Infectious rhythms, soulful singing and great songs make TOO MUCH FUN the album that will bring C.J Chenier to the top. With his non-stop touring schedule C.J. is ready to make his legions of fans very happy - tired maybe from all the dancing they're doing - but happy. After all, they're having one hell of a lot of fun.



Ченьер Клифтон - Chenier Clifton (25 июня 1925, Опелоуз, Луизиана - 12 декабря 1987, Лафайет, Луизиана) - американский певец, гитарист, аккордеонист. Считался "королем" музыки в стиле зайдеко.

Родился в сельской семье. В детстве и юношестве работал на хлопковых и сахарных плантациях. Первые уроки игры на аккордеоне получил от отца. Вместе с младшим братом Кливлендом, игравшим на стиральной доске, начал выступать по выходным дням на деревенских танцплощадках, исполняя традиционные для Луизианы франкоязычные песни. С 1947 вместе с братом работал на нефтеперегонном заводе в Порт-Артуре, Луизиана.

В это время по радио знакомится с популярным стилем "ритм-энд-блюз" и испытывает его влияние. Смесь луизианских тустепов и вальсов с ритм-энд-блюзовой и рок-н-ролльной энергетикой делают группу братьев Ченьер (в которой работал тогда молодой гитарист Лонни Брукс (Lonnie Brooks) местной сенсацией. Танцевальная музыка становится их постоянной работой. Вскоре Клифтон Ченьер уже разъезжает в кадиллаке.

В 1954 записывает дебютный сингл для местной фирмы грамзаписи. В следующем году подписывает контракт с более крупной фирмой Speciality и выпускает следующий сингл, демонстрирующий исполнение "зайдеко" по модным ритм-энд-блюзовым меркам. Пластинка становится хитом на местных радиостанциях. Ченьер спешит закрепить успех гастролями, но сугубо локальная музыкальная специфика вынуждает его ограничиваться штатами Луизиана и Техас. В этот период в его группе играет достаточно известный теперь блюзовый гитарист Филипп Уокер. В 1956-7 записывает несколько синглов для Chess, однако это сотрудничество оказывается недолгим. В группе Ченьер делает первые профессиональные шаги 17-летняя певица Этта Джеймс, опекуном которой в связи с ее юным возрастом официально назначен Клифтон Ченьер.

С появлением в США волны значительного интереса к народной музыке начинается новый этап творчества Ченьера. В 1964 он записывает дебютный альбом для чикагской фирмы Arhoolie, возвращаясь к музыке "зайдеко", но не утратив рок-н-ролльного напора. Его исполнительский стиль игры на аккордеоне глубоко индивидуален. Кроме того, он играет на клавишных инструментах и губной гармонике. Кливленд Ченьер, держа по три консервных ножа в каждой руке, демонстрирует виртуозное владение своим нехитрым инструментом - рэббордом (rabboard - терка, по сути - гофрированный стальной лист), создавая ритмическое поле высокой напряженности. Они много записываются, выступают на фестивалях, гастролируют по США и Европе, в том числе в рамках ревю American Folk Blues Festival.

В конце 70-х годов к группе Клифтона Ченьера присоединяется гитарист Дэнни Кэррон, позже работавший с Чарлзом Брауном. Нынешняя звезда стиля "зайдеко" Бакуит Зайдеко в это время играет в группе на клавишных инструментах и практикуется в аранжировке.

Клифтон Ченьер гастролировал почти безостановочно, пока заболевание диабетом не заставило его отказаться от поездок. "Король зайдеко" был настолько ослаблен болезнью, что в 1982 году на записи альбома для чикагской фирмы Alligator ему пришлось использовать электронный аккордеон. Он вновь пытается подновить звучание любимой музыки в соответствии с требованиями широкой публики и записывает композицию Disco Zydeco. Альбом удостоен Grammy. И последний, прощальный свой альбом Клифтон Ченьер называет Country Boy Now Grammy Award Winner("Был деревенский парень, а теперь - лауреат премии Грэмми").

Как истинный король, Клифтон Ченьер позаботился о том, чтобы оставить наследника. С. Дж. Ченьера (C. J. Chenier), начинавшего музыкальную карьеру как джазовый саксофонист, а сегодня с аккордеоном в руках успешно продолжающего главное дело всей жизни отца: традиционная музыка зайдеко должна быть созвучна новому времени.


Ресурсы сети, связанные с исполнителем:
www.lsue.edu/acadgate/music/cjchenier.htm About
Поиск видео (Video Search) :  

CD коллекции, связанные с исполнителем:
  как основной исполнитель ...
 C.J. Chenier - 'Too Much Fun' - 1995, Alligator Records, M&A Group, Planet Music
  как соисполнитель ...
 Paul Simon - 'The Essential Paul Simon' - 2007, Warner Bros.
 Paul Simon - 'The Rhythm Of The Saints' - 1990, Legacy
 Various Artists - '30th Anniversary Collection V.A.' - Alligator Records
 Various Artists - 'Alligator Records 35X35' - 2006, Alligator Records

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  Последние изменения в документе сделаны 13/10/2015 23:38:13

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