Among the Roma, the guitar tradition that spawned Django Reinhardt is still going strong, and after a heady start as a child prodigy, Bireli Lagrene, born in 1966, has established himself as a true virtuoso in the wake of Django. He still talks longingly about a childhood spent around campfires playing guitars into the small hours, although he'd cut his first albums at 14 and launched a career far away from his home region of the Rhine country west of Strasbourg. Acclaimed as a fusion guitarist, he has worked with Jaco Pastorius and Larry Coryell, as well as touring with Gil Evans, but he has always retained his skill on and affection for the acoustic instrument, and on this album his reinterpretation of a Django gem such as “Minor Swing” shows how brilliantly he interprets the traditional repertoire.
By Kevin Whitehead on 02.25.15 in Features
Kevin Whitehead on how the prolific saxophonist has defeated expectations.
By Britt Robson on 02.11.15 in Reviews
The Vijay Iyer Trio set a remarkably high bar with their two prior studio releases, Historicity in 2009 and Accelerando in 2012, each one consensually rated among the top two or three releases of the year in jazz polls a...
By Ron Hart on 02.02.15 in Features
Celebrating Blue Note's 75th anniversary by examining its relationship with hip-hop
By Glenn Kenny on 01.09.15 in Features
The 1977 album may not have racked up sales, but fans of the record are fans for life.