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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 ...

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Katie Kern: Still Young

Read "Still Young" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Katie Kern has a passion for the blues. Judging by the songs here, her interest is wide. The accent is on the country side of the blues, but she also goes into other terrain. Traversing this wide an area can work if the singer can communicate, otherwise you may well be left with just a bad case of the blues.

Kern comes off par for the course. She picks on Blind Blake for a “Bad Feeling,” and while ...

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Oscar Klein and Katie Kern: Pick-A-Blues

Read "Pick-A-Blues" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

When the Krauts get the blues...

 

Ah vin te Saynts go machin' in, ah vin te Saynts go machin' in.... I qued up Jimmy Reed's “Going to New York and was treated to some tasty rural harmonica and guitar blues. Everything was going okay. The female singer was suitably soulful until she hit the dudyas..."...I'm going to New York, even if I hafta vaulk ..." I was ready to dismiss is disc as a poor attempt for the Germans ...

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Robert Balzar Trio: Travelling

Read "Travelling" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The Czech Republic can boast about their well-documented representation of accomplished bass players (Miroslav Vitous, George Mraz) within the International jazz community. Here, Czech bassist Robert Balzar along with fellow countrymen pianist Stanislav Macha and drummer Marek Patrman pianist perform as a Trio. In 1998, Travelling was touted by many, as the best jazz album emanating from the Czech Republic. We won’t or could not argue that point here but based on its merits, Travelling is a very fine piece ...

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Bireli Lagrene: Routes To Django/Bireli Swing '81

Read "Routes To Django/Bireli Swing '81" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Close your eyes and play any one of the 28 songs on this two-disc set. Guess when the recordings were made, who's playing and how old the player is. It sounds like the catchy, acoustic guitar swing pioneered by Django Reinhardt at the Hot Club de France in Paris during the 1930s.Hard as it is to believe, though, these recordings were made during the early 1980s, when fusion and disco reigned in jazz. Even more surprising, the fingers ...

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Jan Jankeje: A Portrait Of

Read "A Portrait Of" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Slovakian-born bassist Jan Jankeje is well known and highly respected within European jazz circles as Jankeje has performed with legends such as the late trumpeter Doc Cheatham and legendary alto saxophonist Benny Waters. Besides scoring music for films, and discovering guitarist and child prodigy Bireli Lagrene, Jankeje has been the house bassist and producer for the fine German based Jazzpoint record label. This CD titled, A Portrait Of represent tracks previously issued on prior Jazzpoint releases finding Jankeje either performing ...

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Bireli Lagrene w/Larry Coryell & Miroslav Vitous: Special Guests

Read "Special Guests" reviewed by AAJ Staff

“Are you ready?” Bireli Lagrene shouts with excitement. “Yeah...I am,” says Larry Coryell; he sounds testy but all is forgotten as we dive in a bed of strings. The crowd is still: the two strum mightily and then Bireli starts the theme, a Coryell line with a bit of flamenco. Notes wiggle and twist, with a metallic bite. Coryell adds a muscular rhythm part; loud broad strokes Bireli fights to play above. Larry’s turn sparkles: a frantic 12-string with airy ...


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