192

Sylvain Luc: Ambre

By

Sign in to view read count
Sylvain Luc: Ambre Guitarist Sylvain Luc's sophomore solo album, Ambre, is similar to solo instrumental albums from other virtuosic talents—akin to, say, anything by Victor Wooten. You kind of have to be a player and student of the instrument in question, or just really into solo instrumental albums, to fully appreciate the album and the artist's technical proficiency. Maybe "appreciate" is too strong a word—one can certainly appreciate the deeply lyrical playing, wellspring of world jazz influences, and flurrying fingerpicking that colors Ambre. It's just not that enjoyable, not something the lay fan keeps on hand for repeat listening.

Ambre is nothing like Solo Monk (Columbia, 1964), on one hand, or Anthony Braxton's For Alto (Delmark, 1968), on the other. On those albums, Braxton and Monk seemed to tap into something on an emotional level that makes the technicality of the playing secondary. Ambre is all technical and difficult to really get into.

Luc's latest Dreyfus release is his fourth stateside. 2000's Duet, with Biréli Lagrène, formally introduced Luc to American audiences, with Sud (2001) and Trio Sud (2002) following. Sud has been described as having a "quiet energy and the statement also rings true of Ambre.

Luc is an accomplished artist—as evidenced by his extensive biography on the Dreyfus Records website. His roots are in Bayonne, France, the capital of Basque Country; a "child prodigy from a family of traditional gypsy musicians, Luc draws upon traditional Basque folk songs ("Berceuse Basque ), original compositions, and jazz standards ("All Blues, "A Child is Born ) in piecing together his solo masterpiece.

Through the use of multiple guitars (nylon, steel, and fretless) and multitracking, Luc is able to supplement his playing with overdubbed bass lines and percussive taps on the guitar body. To further support the for-guitar-players-only argument, the bilingual liner notes for Ambre feature detailed listings of what guitar combinations were used on each track and notification when uncommon tunings are used—again, something only a guitarist could appreciate.

Ambre does feature beautiful guitar playing that will perfectly complement your next soothing bubble bath or candle-lit yoga session. With a delicate touch, Luc caresses his instrument, at times lazily coaxing notes from the strings while other times attacking the fretboard with gypsy passion. "A Child is Born and "Gentil Coquelicot are the warmups; "Opposite World, is Luc in full exorcision; "Berceuse Basque is the cooling comedown; and the title track is the last climax of Ambre.

Visit Sylvain Luc and Dreyfus Records on the web for sound samples and more.


Track Listing: 1. A child is born 2. Gentil coquelicot 3. Bakean 4. Omenaldi 5. Oreade 6. Opposite World 7. Berceuse basque 8. All blues 9. Ambre 10. Folklore imaginaire 11. shadow of your smile 12. Warm color

Personnel: Sylvain Luc

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987" CD/LP/Track Review Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987
by John Kelman
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere" CD/LP/Track Review Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!