Bireli Lagrene: Wave (1980)
Bireli Lagrene (acoustic guitar)
Routes to Django (Jazz Point JP 1003 CD)
Bireli Lagrene (acoustic guitar),
Gaiti Lagrene, Tschirglo Loeffler (rhythm guitars), Jan Jankeje (bass).
Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Recorded: live at the Krokodil, Kirchheim/Teck, Germany, May 1980
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
Wunderkind Biréli Lagrène was all of 13 when he recorded his first album, Routes to Django. Lagrène pretty much had the Django repertoire down pat before he was even 12. But as any serious 13-year-old guitarist would tell you, you don't know how good you are until you master the rhythms of that Jobim Brazilian stuff.
Lagrène's brilliant performance on "Wave" is some sort of cruel joke foisted upon us untalented masses. I suppose if you had some skill you could spend 12 hours a day for about four years learning the piece and play something close to what you hear on this album. But according to the liner notes Lagrène really didn't practice that much. He didn't read music either. Jesus. How does a kid play with that effortless dexterity and deep feeling? His rapid-fire picking is full of subtlety and nuance. Could he possibly have been that tuned-in? My ears tell me so. My ears also inform me that his older and more accomplished bandmates were in the pocket too. This music is in their blood. Anomalies like Lagrène show you that music is so much more than about learning notes on a piece of paper.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky