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.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.