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ALBUM REVIEWS

Bireli Lagrene Trio: Gypsy Trio

Read "Gypsy Trio" reviewed 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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Bireli Lagrene: Djangology/To Bi Or Not To Bi

Read "Bireli Lagrene: Djangology/To Bi Or Not To Bi" reviewed 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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bireli Lagrene: Swing

Read "Swing " reviewed 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 ...

FILM REVIEWS

Bir

Read "Bir" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bireli Lagrene Gipsy Project: Move

Read "Move" reviewed 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!), ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bireli Lagrene and Gipsy Project: Move

Read "Move" reviewed 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bir: Gipsy Project & Friends

Read "Gipsy Project & Friends" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren

Once again Django disciple Biréli Lagrène has released an exquisite record: Gipsy Project & Friends is one of the finest guitar jazz discs of the year! Pulling together players like Florin Niculescu on violin, Hono Winterstein and Holzmano Lagrène on guitar, and the great Henri Salvador on vocals, Biréli Lagrène has mined the depths of Django's legacy. As with his past recordings, the guitarist approaches his instrument with a subtle and graceful motion that cascades in much the same way ...


ENGAGE!

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