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Sylvain Luc: Ambre (2004)

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Sylvain Luc: Ambre How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The pure sound of an acoustic guitar runs through most forms of music around the world and through time. Civilization's earliest music makers applied the same natural techniques to interpret melodies and to portray desired moods. You can find guitar lovers applying their intimate technique today just about anywhere in the world.

Sylvain Luc employs an array of guitars, sometimes multi-tracked, in order to express his love of jazz. When he interprets "All Blues," it's with an appreciation for its composer's original ideas. A sensuous feeling arises, like steam from the sidewalk on a cold winter morning. Luc explores the piece with the same casual attitude that Miles Davis preferred, using electric and acoustic instruments.

The guitarist's title track—a mellow number with smooth, amplified guitar sonorities—paints a relaxed landscape for the listener. It's timeless music for the masses.

On several of his originals, he adds a little percussion to the mix, enabling him to carry an international flavor to his performance. A child prodigy from a family of traditional gypsy musicians, Luc is of Basque descent. His "Berceuse Basque" ("Basque Lullaby") explores the peaceful landscape of his homeland, while his "Opposite World" reflects the funk of urban culture. Luc's influences, however, seem to have been drawn from everywhere.

"Shadow of Your Smile" summarizes the artist's love for a lyrical melody. As he explores the song's memorable theme and reflects upon its meaning, the guitarist represents a cool side of the jazz world that will never be forgotten. Luc brings an experienced lyrical voice to jazz and colors his performance with flavors from all over the world.

Track Listing: A Child Is Born; Gentil Coquelicot; Bakean; Omenaldi; Oreade; Opposite World; Berceuse Basque; All Blues; Ambre; Folklore Imaginaire; Shadow of Your Smile; Warm Color.

Personnel: Sylvain Luc- guitars.

Record Label: Dreyfus Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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