REVOLUTION IN CHURCH CONCERTS
Jean-Christian MICHEL has just ended his studies of medicine and surgery. But the passion for Music holds him and the clarinettist records his first three albums "Requiem", "Aranjuez" and "Sacred Music".
His own compositions, his arrangement of Aranjuez's concerto and his transcriptions of Johann-Sebastian BACH's works to the clarinet immediately enjoy a brilliant success. A real craze grows which is quickly reflected in the sales of his discs and his concerts of "Jazz and sacred Music" - given, at the time, exclusively in churches :
In Marseille St Victor's abbey is a full house. So much so thata second concert must be organized some days later... practically without any publicity !
Two month later, Jean-Christian MICHEL triumphs in a concert at the church of St Louis in Grenoble, during the Winter Olympic Games ( the famous Killy year ! ) - where the press awards him a gold medal !
Then it is the very first concert in Paris in the church of St Pierre de Chaillot . It becomes necessary to accept the evidence that on every occasion the same thing happens : Jean-Christian MICHEL always achieves a "full church". The crowds are there, en masse, in an indescribable bustle in the packed sanctuary. Then an intense flow of clarinet shakes the ancestral vaults of the sacred place and plunges the audience into a deep reverence.
The audience is not that which is normally enjoyed by the church, but a multitude of teenagers, students and people of any ages, any circles...
This youth which launches in the street, its rebellious message and its appeal to life, invades churches once night has fallen to listen to the mysterious clarinettist. Beyond claims and refusals of accepted and compulsory values, a spiritual quest is outlined...
A real sociological phenomenon very quickly comes into being : The press entitles it : "The clarinet of cathedrals" , "Jean-Christian MICHEL in the top three places the best disc sales" and also, "Revolution in Sacred Music" and even, as in Amsterdam: "God in the Charts" ! The young clarinettist has just propelled Sacred music to the front page of current events !
It is henceforth the advent of a situation which is going to mark generations. In spite of debates of a rearguard of traditional "musicophiles", millions of people discover and admire this new sacred music, with the feeling of participating in a real revolution.
In November of the same year, Jean-Christian MICHEL gives a church concert at Saint Roch in Paris. Kenny CLARKE, the brilliant drummer of MODERN JAZZ QUARTET, joins the group.The basilica is literally taken by assault.
Two hours before the concert it is almost impossible to park a car within a kilometre radius. A crowd, estimated at more than fifteen thousand, of whom a third will stay outside, waits in the icy cold which could allow them access to the sacred place.
JEAN-CHRISTIAN MICHEL'S CONCERT WITH THE DRUMMER KENNY CLARKE IN CHURCH ST ROCH STRENGTHED THE SOCIAL PHENOMENON
For four years, Jean-Christian MICHEL will pulverize the records of LP sales with an run which will even overtake, for a while, that of The Beatles, and will bring crowds of more than 50,000 people.
• 3 diamond discs, 7 platinum discs and 10 golden discs and more than 5,000,000 million albums sold will affirm "Phenomenon" Jean-Christian MICHEL.