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My Classical Way

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Album Review

Marc Antoine's "classical way" is to take familiar melodies from the classical repertoire and play them on his nylon-string Spanish guitar over his usual selection of samba, bossa nova, and smooth jazz arrangements. He establishes his approach right away with "Carmen B," borrowed from, you guessed it, Bizet's Carmen, which pays no attention to the dramatic context the tune had in the original opera, but instead becomes a pretty melody prettily played. And so it goes with warhorses by the likes of Bach, Mozart, and Chopin. Particularly interesting is Antoine's take on Pachelbel's Canon, with presents the melody over a folkish arrangement that recalls the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane." The album's gimmick doesn't allow Antoine much room for jazz improvisation; rather, the jazz creativity lies largely in the arrangements and in the concept itself. Classical fans probably won't be amused, if they even become aware of the album. Some jazz fans may be pleased that Antoine is stretching beyond his usual smooth jazz comfort zone.


Born: Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Contemporary jazz guitarist Marc Antoine blends his classical training with a multi-cultural urban groove. After studying at the Edouard Paiteron College and the International School of Classical Guitar, he played with a typically varied cast of artists: pop stars like Sting, Basia, and Selena, rappers like Guru's Jazzmatazz project and Queen Latifah, plus acid jazz hipsters the Solsonics and DJ Greyboy. Signed to the New York City subsidiary of GRP Records, Antoine recorded his solo debut Classical...
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