12 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ever since he stunned listeners at age 13 with jaw-dropping guitar technique and mastery of the jazz manouche idiom eternally associated with Django Reinhardt, France’s Biréli Lagrène has grown continually more beastly on the instrument. His musicality, however—his deep appreciation for songs and the people he plays them with—guides his decisions more than chops alone. On Storyteller, with bassist Larry Grenadier and percussionist Mino Cinélu, he begins with the purest, most beautiful acoustic tone but then stretches it sonically with software to create radical sustain and added color. Chords linger and wave like aurora borealis. Organic elements of his playing—harmonics, slides, bends, fall-offs, scrapes, vibrato—become enhanced and almost surreal. Yet the intimacy of his touch is never lost or covered over. One could call it acoustic fusion, a blending of two paramount interests of Lagrène’s over the decades. Playing mainly well-trodden standards, he devours them like a lion, exposing every harmonic nuance and rhythmic possibility. But with the title track, he closes on a tantalizingly futuristic note.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Ever since he stunned listeners at age 13 with jaw-dropping guitar technique and mastery of the jazz manouche idiom eternally associated with Django Reinhardt, France’s Biréli Lagrène has grown continually more beastly on the instrument. His musicality, however—his deep appreciation for songs and the people he plays them with—guides his decisions more than chops alone. On Storyteller, with bassist Larry Grenadier and percussionist Mino Cinélu, he begins with the purest, most beautiful acoustic tone but then stretches it sonically with software to create radical sustain and added color. Chords linger and wave like aurora borealis. Organic elements of his playing—harmonics, slides, bends, fall-offs, scrapes, vibrato—become enhanced and almost surreal. Yet the intimacy of his touch is never lost or covered over. One could call it acoustic fusion, a blending of two paramount interests of Lagrène’s over the decades. Playing mainly well-trodden standards, he devours them like a lion, exposing every harmonic nuance and rhythmic possibility. But with the title track, he closes on a tantalizingly futuristic note.

TITLE TIME

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