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by Victor L. Schermer
While his playing reflects diverse influences, guitarist Biréli Lagrène clearly comes out of the gypsy tradition of Django Reinhardt, whose 100th birthday is being celebrated in 2010. Gypsy Trio captures the feeling of Reinhardt's musical era, with some tunes, rhythms, and the atmosphere of a lively Paris nightclub between the two world wars--energetic and fun, but equally contemplative on lovely ballads, including Lagrène's Sir F.D," and The Beatles' Something." Lagrène plays with strong feeling, sometimes reminiscent of Charlie Byrd's acoustic ...read more
by Larry Taylor
Bireli Lagrene Djangology/To Bi Or Not To Bi Dreyfus Records 2007
Bireli Lagrene, heir apparent to the legacy of legendary Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, has recently released an outstanding two-CD set, Djangology/To Bi Or Not To Bi . The first disc was recorded live with the powerhouse German big band, WDR; the second is a solo endeavor that showcases Lagrene's remarkable virtuosity.
Born in Germany in 1966, within a traditional Gypsy community, ...read more
by Jim Santella
Guitarist Biréli Lagrène recorded this tribute to the swing jazz of Django Reinhardt when he was only fourteen (and it was his second album release!). From a Gypsy family in the French region of Alsace, he started out as a child prodigy who learned from his father and brother. But it was the recordings of Reinhardt that affected him the most. This reissue features Lagrène with two rhythm guitarists, one double bassist and guest appearances by drummer Allen Blairman on ...read more
by Jim Santella
Biréli Lagrène Live In Paris Dreyfus Records 2005
Biréli Lagrène and Gipsy Project interpret music from all over the world in this program of swing, bebop, blues and ballads. The New Morning nightclub is a large venue, but the set-up affords Lagrène's quartet intimacy and great acoustics. The lighting and camera work provide excellent visuals, while the program's audio remains centered as the DVD's focus.
The clarity with which Lagrène ...read more
by Andrew Velez
Listening to Bireli Lagrène's renditions of Melodie au Crepuscule and Hungaria instantly recalls his deeply bonded connection with the music, the style, and the sound of guitar legend Django Reinhardt. As inevitable as the Django connection seems to be, there is nothing shallow or merely imitative about Lagrène's playing. As this latest set attests, he's a deliciously enjoyable, absolutely contemporary musician in his own right. As a child prodigy at age four (he's now an ancient 39!), ...read more
by Jim Santella
In a celebration of the music of Django Reinhardt, Biréli Lagrène uses his virtuostic technique to interpret classic songs from several different jazz eras. The album's title track, by Denzil Best, was one of bebop's early anthems. Reinhardt originals recall the swing tradition that the gypsy guitarist espoused, while fresh originals honor his memory with a personal nod.
Move" places the quartet in an up-tempo meeting of the minds. Lagrène and saxophonist Frank Wolf improvise at length over ...read more