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.
Track Listing: Sentimentales Pyromaniaques; La Dame de Clevedon; Sur un Fil; Altiplanos; Demain, dès lAube; Sacrabée; If Only You Knew; Hymn 11; Nefetari; Sylva; La Nuit des Météores; Falafel à Montségur; Tacita; Chant de Nuit
Personnel: Pierre Bensusan--guitar, voice, bass, percussion; Blaise Boutlefou--djembé on track 3; Michel Benita--double bass on track 10, keyboards on track 13; Didier Malherbe--doudouk on track 13
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!