While Getting’ Blazed is full of stellar performances, including three tracks featuring the venerable Pat Martino, the level of musicianship on “Babik” is positively jaw-dropping. Backed by the laser precision of Genus and Mason, Landsberger delivers a modern, electrified treatment of the tune Django Reinhardt had written in honor of his second son. This is not as blasphemous as it may seem to the diehard jazz Manouche fans; Babik Reinhardt was a fine jazz guitarist in his own right, but he preferred playing bebop over the more traditional Gypsy swing of his legendary father.
Through the furious changes, Landsberger fires off crisp, throaty B-3 riffs, sounding like Joey DeFrancesco on steroids, his lines rousing and insightful. James Genus’s lively and lyrical bass solo cooks admirably. But it is guitarist Andreas Öberg who puts the sizzle on the steak, burning up his Benedetto archtop with molten-hot bop lines delivered with insane speed and clarity. Babik Reinhardt would surely dig this.
April 16, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: django reinhardt covers
Clarinet is not a common instrument in this style of jazz performance, which is heavily tilted toward the strings. But you wouldn't know it from Evan Christopher's deliciously languorous approach to "Douce Ambience." He elicits a rich, smoky tone from his horn, and puts such a personal stamp on his melody statement that you don't even need to wait for the solos to appreciate that you are in the hands of a master stylist. But please do wait for the solos. Christopher & Co. work their taut phrases over a dark, tango-ish swing and with no wasted energy. Très douce.
November 29, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: django reinhardt covers
Stochelo Rosenberg's performance at the 2003 Django Fest in Samois was remarkable in many ways, but his flawless, precise rendition of this difficult piece was a high point of the festival and, fortunately for us, has been captured in this marvelous recording.
August 14, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: django reinhardt covers
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