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Solo - to Bi or Not to Bi

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Album Review

Since arriving on the jazz scene barely into his teens, guitarist Bireli Lagrene has continued to dazzle listeners with his formidable technique, but this solo concert finds him breaking new ground. Lagrene's ten originals show the influence of Django Reinhardt without being mere re-creations of 1930s Gypsy swing. In the brisk "R & Bi," Lagrene is simultaneously playing percussion by tapping on his instrument. The moving ballad "Capucines" and two virtuoso pieces, "Madras Express" and the miniature "To Bi or Not to Bi," are all highlights. The most unusual track is a medley of two rock songs, Queen's "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You," with the 1960s pop hit "It Was a Very Good Year," a combination that works better than it sounds, even if the middle selection comes across as filler. Highly recommended.


Born: 04 September 1966 in Saverene, France

Genre: Jazz

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

When Biréli Lagrène's Routes to Django: Live was issued in 1980, the 13-year-old jazz guitarist was immediately praised by critics as a protégé of Django Reinhardt. He had already won a prize in a festival at Strasbourg in 1978, and his appearance at a Gypsy festival was broadcast on television. For the next five years, Lagrène would mime Reinhardt's style, even recording versions of the master's "Nuages" and "Djangology" on Swing '81. Over time, however, his role as a protégé began to seem limited....
Full bio
Solo - to Bi or Not to Bi, Biréli Lagrène
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 23 October 2006

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