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Pierre Bensusan: Altiplanos

Jerry D'Souza By

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Among several facets Pierre Bensusan brings into play on the guitar are the influences he has absorbed and the technical skills he brings to bear. The latter sees him use fingertapping and harmonics, a chunky fleshing of the chords, overdubbing, and a creativity that opens a wide pasture in which he lets his melodies roam without losing control. As well, he tunes his guitar in the nonstandard DADGAD tuning.

Benusan wraps himself comfortably in the cocoon of a solo outing, of which ten parts appear on this CD. His guitar lights a bright path, his tone marvelously clear and open. And when he sings, his dry yet soulful voice takes the song up another notch, as on the deeply passionate "Demain, dès l'Aube." The music flows with a soft gentility wrapping the words of Victor Hugo, making this a top-notch track. In the same sphere of appeal is the ballad "Hymn 11." Every note is measured for impact as he plays with a deliberate spareness, into which he intersperses the odd gush of chords and an emphatic run before returning to the node.

Bensusan pays tribute to his roots (he was born in Algeria) on "Sur un Fil," where his voice rises in plaintive cry and breathes a percussive air against his bass and Blaise Boutlefeu's djembé. The sparkling "Sylva" works through several elements: the bent, incisive notes of the guitar, the floating wispiness of the flute, and the rhythm stirred by the contrabass and the udu.

Visit www.pierrebensusan.com.


Track Listing: Sentimentales Pyromaniaques; La Dame de Clevedon; Sur un Fil; Altiplanos; Demain d

Personnel: Pierre Bensusan- guitar, vocals, whistling; Malherbe- douduk on "Tacita;" Benita- keyboards on "Tacita."

Title: Altiplanos | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Favored Nations


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