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Christian Vander


Christian VANDER was born on February 21st 1948. From an early age his mother introduced him to the company of famous jazzmen such as Elvin JONES and Kenny CLARKE. Indeed, Chet BAKER gave him his first drum kit. He listened to all the greats of jazz and especially John Coltrane, whom he had the chance to meet was only once. He also listened to composers such as WAGNER, STRAVINSKY, BACH and many r'n'b bands and singers. He formed his first group, the WURDALAKS, in 1966 and wrote his first themes at that time. Following the death in 1967 of John COLTRANE, which had a profound affect on him, he left for Italy where he played in clubs with jazz and r'n'b groups.
In 1969 he founded MAGMA. Between 1969 and 1984 about 50 players trod the boards with MAGMA, many of them destined to become musicians of great reknown : Didier LOCKWOOD, Jannick TOP, Claude ENGEL, Bernard PAGANOTTI, Yochíko SEFFER, Teddy LASRY, Michel GRAILLIER...

MAGMA quickly gained an international reputation, notably following their appearance at the NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL in 1973, where the band was joined by the BRECKER Brothers.
At the present time a total of 15 MAGMA albums have been released.In 1979 Christian VANDER formed a parallel, complimentary group to MAGMA, the ALIEN Quartet, with Benoit WIDEMANN, Patrick GAUTHIER, Jean-Pierre FOUQUEY and Dominique BERTRAM. This group was followed by the TRIO VANDER with Michel GRAILLIER and Alby CULLAZ.
Two trio albums, Jour après jour and 65 !, were recorded between 1990 and 1993. The TRIO, completed nowadays by Emmanuel GRIMONPREZ on double bass and Emmanuel BORGHI on piano, appears regularly in France and the rest of Europe.
In 1983 a new, complementary MAGMA line-up with a largely acoustic slant was created, being based on voices, keyboards and percussion. The first OFFERING concerts took place in October 1983 in Paris. Two albums, Offering 1&2 and Offering 3&4, came out in 1986 and 1990. In May 1993 a new album appeared, Affieh. This was an important stage for Christian VANDER as it showed a return to his roots in MAGMA.
Between 1992 and 1995 Christian VANDER directed the group LES VOIX DE MAGMA, comprised of a dozen musicians and singers. The repertoire, largely inspired by the main MAGMA themes, put a new perspective on the vocal aspect of Christian VANDERís compositions. A live album recorded at the Douarnenez festival, JAZZ EN BAIE, features part of this repertoire, under the name MAGMA Les voix.
In 1994 Christian VANDER and Simon GOUBERT created WELCOME, a line-up composed of two drummers, two double-bass players, two saxophones and one piano. A first album appeared under the title Bienvenue.
Between 1992 and 1995 Christian VANDER directed the group LES vocals DE MAGMA, comprised of a dozen musicians and singers. The repertoire, largely inspired by the main MAGMA themes, put a new perspective on the vocal aspect of Christian VANDER's compositions. A live album recorded at the Douarnenez festival, JAZZ EN BAIE, features part of this repertoire, under the name MAGMA LES vocals.
Since 1996 MAGMA has returned to the stage with a group of talented new musicians, playing the mythic works of the 70s repertoire to an audience mainly comprised of young people.
The music of MAGMA is eternal.

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