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Album Review

It would be easy to suppose that more than one guitarist is at work on many of the tracks on Pierre Bensusan's appropriately named album Vividly. Those two or three string players would have to be unusually intuitive, however, reading each other's minds in real time. Bensusan is sometimes playing three separate parts in a couple of different time signatures. In fact, it's amazing he never gets his fingers tangled. The effect is a textured guitar sound, as Bensusan interweaves the different sections, quickening and slowing, playing complexly and then simply. By varying the dynamics and the time, he is consistently surprising, yet always satisfying. As if that weren't enough, he also sings on every other track, usually in French, though "The In-Between" is a love song rendered in lightly accented English. After working alone for most of the disc, he adds a band and other singers for the closer, "Les Places de Liberté," making for the liveliest moment on what has already been a vivid collection.


Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

This French guitarist was actually born in Algeria and has long been fascinated with his North African roots as well as the Celtic folk traditions of western Europe. After making a name for himself as a folk musician in the late '70s, Bensusan began to incorporate jazz and classical...
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Vividly, Pierre Bensusan
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