Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

10

Luke Hendon: Silk & Steel

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
It is the easiest thing in the world to laud guitarist Luke Hendon's album Silk & Steel as something to be treasured by anyone who is remotely interested in the style of Django Reinhardt.

It is important to note, however, that Hendon has done much more than play arpeggios as fast as humanly possible, zip the one string chromatic scale and use a tight vibrato in front of a freight train rhythm guitar —all on an large- body acoustic guitar with steel top strings and wound lower strings over silk.

Yes, Django was a virtuoso, but he always put his technique in the service of his music where every note he played was full of meaning, diving deep and bringing out his gypsy background. Of course, all great musicians project their very being through their music, which is what makes listening to them such an experience.

In this interview, Hendon relates how he was introduced to the music of Django by the movie Sweet And Lowdown, with the guitar playing masterfully done by Howard Alden and Bucky Pizzarelli. Despite not being a gypsy, he has managed to get inside the entirety of Django's style, merging his own musical self with the spirit (figuratively) of Django, which emerges from the inside and not merely layered on top.

Surely, the musical mannerisms of the Quintette of the Hot Club of France are all there (three hours of Django can be found here), including Hendon's outstanding playing, and that is why it sounds "authentic." The rhythm guitarists and bassist are solid, as is the violin playing (who is not trying to copy Stephane Grappelli). But there is something more going on here —most of tunes are Hendon originals (with the exception of "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" by Romberg/Hammerstein II and Paquito by Paquito Lorier), and the added saxophone and clarinet enlarges the sonic palette.

Django's music always brings a smile to the lips and transports one back 1930s France, and the best compliment here is that Hendon's music does the same, but also with a foot planted firmly in the here and now in this too short, extremely well done recording.

Track Listing: Dinner With Paulus; Nothin' But A Groove; Old Friend; Lola; Cupcake; Too Much Tequila; Softly As In A Morning Sunrise; Paquito; Joni.

Personnel: Luke Hendon: lead guitar; Josh Kaye: rhythm guitar; Ted Gottsegen: rhythm guitar; Hendi Looxe: rhythm guitar; Pooquette: violin; Adrian Cunningham: saxophone, clarinet; Ben Rubens: bass.

Title: Silk & Steel | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb2Sat
Django’s Reserve – Gypsy Jazz
The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts And Cultural Center
Middletown, CT
$15

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019