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Album Review

These acoustic guitar duets between Sylvain Luc and the renowned virtuoso Bireli Lagrene finds much common ground to share. From Django Reinhardt gypsyology to bop and pop themes, these two share a beautiful empathy. Of the 13 tracks, you hear the steady stream of swing on "Stompin' at the Savoy," the bopping unison lines of Reinhardt's "Douce Ambiance," and a classic, delicate take on Wes Montgomery's "Road Song." Popping, percussive guitar taps buoy the samba "Estate." "La Ballade Irlandaise" is in a nice 3/4 tempo, while a more chordal approach electrifies the most impressive cut of the date "Les Amoureux Des Bancs Publics," with the two switching melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic roles back & forth. Their most introspective number "Syracuse" exudes deep shades of purple, and Lagrene's 6/8 original "Made in France" is ultimately quick & bright, while "Zurezat" is a simple love-strewn, delicate waltz. There's also a funky take of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" and Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," and the dynamic phase or time shifting rendition of Lennon & McCartney's "Blackbird." The closer is a guitar/electric bass guitar duo, a loping snippet of a melody on Michel Petrucciani's "Looking Up." There are no planets crashing or oceans roaring, but instead an airy, light, unhurried tranquility is extant through this consistent date, a worthy addition to the jazz guitar continuum. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A must!

One of the great guitar albums of all times!


Amazing duo work


Born: September 4, 1966 in Saverene, France

Genre: Jazz

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

When Bireli Lagrene'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, Lagrene 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
Duet, Biréli Lagrène
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