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Album Review

Acoustic guitarist Sylvain Luc makes a breathtaking solo recording that finds this critically acclaimed world jazz guitarist in an elegant and deeply nuanced setting. Known for his ability to bring a reflective, delicate quality to any composition, Luc is not only romantic in his improvisations but brings a solid sense of jazz swing to Ambre. By recording in multi-track with multiple guitars: nylon, steel, and the rarely heard fretless guitar, Luc achieves beautiful accompaniment on such great songs as "A Child Is Born,""All Blues," and "Ambre." By tuning the E and A strings an octave lower on electric guitar and electric-acoustic guitar, Sylvain Luc offers his audience bass accompaniment on part one of "A Child Is Born." The deeper resonance adds a hearty dimension to this beloved jazz standard. The melody on the second part of the same song is approached by using a fretless nylon string electro-acoustic guitar. The title track is a beautiful ballad that represents the very warmth of its name. Luc wrote this folk ballad and plays its thoughtful melody in such a way as to spotlight his technical skills, the rhythms of the Basques, and his deep sense of jazz improvisations. On "Folklore Imaginaire" Sylvain Luc uses three guitars to play percussion, accompaniment and melody. The percussive sound is achieved by slapping the sides of the steel-string electric acoustic guitar; accompaniment is achieved with the same guitar but with the E string tuned to D, and the melody is played on steel string electric acoustic without the slapping. These techniques add several sterling dimensions to this Luc original. It is the type of song that students can use to learn or improve improvisational skills and to further their own songwriting technique. Solo or accompanied, Sylvain Luc is rapidly coming into his own as a world class guitarist as a result of his performances with Bireli Lagrene,Michel Legrand and by drawing upon the influences of such great jazz icons as Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield.


Born: 1965 in France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

French guitarist Sylvain Luc has honed his jazz improvisations since the 1980s, when he first discovered jazz as a teenager. He studied at the prestigious Academy de Bayonne as a child, mastering the guitar, cello, violin, and mandolin, but jazz shed a different light on Luc's musical ambitions. He spent time with the Bubble Quartet, discovering an appreciation for South African music in his twenties. Luc combined his love for jazz with worldbeat sounds and carved a career for himself. He issued...
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Ambre, Sylvain Luc
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