Valérie Grachaire & Pierre-Alain Goualch

Valérie Graschaire

Pierre-Alain Goualch

Valérie GRASCHAIRE / Pierre-Alain GOUALCH duo


Valérie GRASCHAIRE and Pierre-Alain GOUALCH met about 10 years ago and have been playing together since then. This already long artistic collaboration created a musical complicity of rare intensity between the two artists. When they decided to work as a duet on a repertoire of Thelonious MONK’s compositions, they first intended to play a single concert. Nevertheless, the response from the audience to this performance and the pleasure both got from doing it turned E.M.D.’s producer Bernadette MEYER’s attention on them. She soon managed to convince them of the relevance of making an album out of this project.

This commission allowed Pierre-Alain to plunge into the music of a composer he always have been fascinated and influenced by. After a few months during which the pianist’s arrangements have been refined, they decided to get together in one of Nancy’s legendary music hall: the Poirel auditorium. The reasons this gorgeous building, which had been recently renovated, was chosen were double. The exceptional acoustics coupled with one of the rare Steinway Grand Concert pianos of Lorraine indeed made this place the perfect place for the duet’s appearance. Pierre-Alain had already played on that piano on the albums ‘The Duke And Us’ and ‘The Piano, Inside And Outside’ realised with the O.R.J.L (The Jazz Orchestra Of Lorraine Region).

You’ll find below François POSTIF’s feelings - he is a journalist, writer, author of ‘Blue Monk’ (Actes Sud Publishing) for which he collaborated with Jacques Ponzio in 1995 -

about the demo of ‘Honky Monk Woman’. This text will be printed on the album’s booklet.

« This compact disk, was done under osmosis,  with a singer “fan” of Monk’s music; Valérie Graschaire. She expresses herself in English as well as in French, very sensitively and tenderly, magnificently accompagnied by Pierre-Alain Goualch..

On this subject, I would like to bring your attention on the fact that even if Monk had made some Broadway melodies his own, wrapping them in his own unique atmosphere, the soloist Pierre-Alain does not imitate Monk but incorporates his style in his playing for our greatest pleasure. In short, this natural meeting between two wholehearted “monkians” proves to our ears that if all of Monk’s compositions had been songs, they would have easily become hits.

This is an evidence and this duet impregnated with a common admiration for the only Melodious Thonk shows this brilliantly.» 

 Since the release of the album in March 2001, the duet has played about forty concerts in front of an audience taken aback by the ‘pretentious’ undertaking of reinterpreting Monk’s music. Despite this first feeling people have been convinced and seduced by Valérie and Pierre-Alain’s cleverness, deepness, by their sense of humour and the freedom jazz allows and demands from its most talented servants…

 Last but not least, the duo also performs quite often as a quartet with Diego IMBERT on double-bass and Franck AGULHON on drums, which is a considerable information!