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

Title: Ambre | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Lubbock (on everything)" CD/LP/Track Review Lubbock (on everything)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Hauptbahnhof" CD/LP/Track Review Hauptbahnhof
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.