I’ve been a fan of Jean-Jacques Milteau’s harmonica playing for a long time. In the decades of his career he’s done everything from traditional blues to jazz-rock, always with a strong tone and precise moves on the instrument. As I learned from an interview he did years ago, he and I both admired Magic Dick’s work with J. Geils for the precision of Dick’s playing, and that kind of attention to detail is clearly present in this piece.

Milteau is playing here through what sounds like a lightly amped rig with a long delay on it. His work on this piece has a traditional blues sound along with approaches to line and texture that are clearly all his own.

I’ve noticed lately that French harmonica players are evolving at a rapid rate in some very interesting directions, and I think we can safely say that it started with this guy. It’s not easy to find a Milteau record that doesn’t sound great, so check out his catalog after you dig this video.