Ludovic and Kruno: Philadelphie Sur Seine
Philadelphie Sur Seine
Philadelphie Sur Seine (Gypsy Jazz Distribution)
Vjekoslav Dimter (rhythm guitar), Scott Churchman (bass).
Composed by Ludovic Beier.
Recorded: Philadelphia, PA, 2007
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Kruno Spisic turned many heads when he debuted at Birdland's Django Reinhardt Festival in 2006, due to his crisp, lively and dead-accurate interpretation of Django's style. French accordion master Ludovic Beier was also on the bill, and the two hit it off big time. The following year Beier made the trip to Philadelphia to record this intimate album of swing, jazz, and traditional Eastern European numbers.
Some jazz fans still consider the Gypsy jazz movement to be a retro-nostalgia thing, much like the jitterbug craze. Likewise, there are those who, upon meeting an accordion, will instantly recall Frank De Vol playing bandleader Happy Kyne leading His Mirthmakers on that 1970s talk-show spoof, Fernwood 2Night, or "The Love Goddess" Judy Tenuta mugging with her squeezebox. If you find yourself in either camp, this recording is not for you. But you would be missing some superb music. Here we have a pairing of two virtuosic players in a seamless performance filled with warmth and passion. And, yes, the button accordion is indeed a serious jazz instrument, especially in the hands of Ludovic Beier. I would urge listening with open mind and heart.
This track is a bossa, but with a subtle difference: rather than the familiar Brazilian feel, one hears distinctive gypsy strumming in the rhythm section. The intuitive and respectful interaction between the two soloists is a perfect fit. Kruno's clean jazz Manouche technique applied to a gorgeous petite bouche acoustic guitar is like a fresh autumn breeze, while Ludovic's expressive accordion work evokes a romantic Left Bank café. I recommend serving this recording with a nice bottle of Châteauneuf du Pape or at least a decent pinot noir.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes