How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
In the midst of jazz jam groups and releases by more widely known masters of the guitar, it could be easy for Sylvain Luc's release, "Sud", to be lost in the shuffle. That would be too bad.
A native of France and performing for the most part continuously throughout Europe, Luc possesses a mastery of the guitar that enthusiasts of the instrument would find as exciting in its understated and energetic way as some of the American-bred performers.
Luc has assembled a trio that's more than professional. It also projects an excitement about the music in subtle ways, such as Luc's staggering of the rhythm on "Chez Laurette", lulling the listener into a false sense of comfort. At the same time, drummer Ceccarelli reminds that the underlying pulse is one of an accelerated heart rate. This contrast of meters, combined in joint execution and vision, is constant through the CD, even when the difficulty of the concept heightens in the 5/4 rhythm of "Ameskeri," soaring like an angular Pat Metheny theme.
The thrill of Luc's group is based on more than his leadership. A trio of equals, Ceccarelli demonstrates his command of his instrument on two solo excursions, "Ouverture" and "Requiem". Call them interludes if you like, but Ceccarelli's subtle execution and varying of pitches and colors communicates feeling, even without the melody of a stringed instrument.
Available now from Dreyfus, Sylvain Luc's group is one that should be discovered and enjoyed, even more so with repeated listenings.
Night In Tunisia; Bella Vista; Jade Et Melody; Mojo; Ouverture; Ameskeri; Roots 6406; This Guy's In Love With You; Chez Laurette; Requiem; A Little Man You've Had A Busy Day; There Will Never Be Another You; Moon River