Once again Django disciple Biréli Lagrène has released an exquisite record: Gipsy Project & Friends is one of the finest guitar jazz discs of the year! Pulling together players like Florin Niculescu on violin, Hono Winterstein and Holzmano Lagrène on guitar, and the great Henri Salvador on vocals, Biréli Lagrène has mined the depths of Djangos legacy. As with his past recordings, the guitarist approaches his instrument with a subtle and graceful motion that cascades in much the same way as Reinhardt. Choosing to rework many of late masters pieces would be an unthinkable task for most, but this group of players pay mind to his bright essence and the keep the gypsy spirit alive.
A finer follow-up the amazing Gipsy Project is hard to imagine. Guitar prodigy Lagrène outdoes himself on several tracks, including an outstanding reading of Reinhardts "Babik". Listening to this disc, you cant help but be elated by Lagrènes work with Florin Niculescu. Their interplay recalls Django and Stephane Grappellis work and proves that some musicians are truly meant to play with one another. Since the recording is a gypsy project, most of these tunes are classic material. But Lagrène does have a few a surprises as well. His version of of Mercer/Raskins "Laura" is simply beautiful. Combining string arrangement for guitar gives the song a whole new life. With the addition of the gypsy sound, the track is stunning.
Fans of Djangos style of jazz will find this CD a must have, but fans of guitar jazz will be especially intrigued. The musicianship is top notch and the arrangements are dead on.
1. Djangology 3:19 2. When Day Is Done 4:26 3. Bei Dir War Es Immer So Schön 4:37 4. Babik 2:46 5. Oú Es-Tu Mon Amour? 5:16 6. Les Yeux Noirs 2:56 7. Envie de Toi 4:19 8. Minor Swing 3:20 9. Laura 2:46 10. Artillerie Lourde 5:50 11. Place de Broukere 3:15 12. Songe dAutomne 3:36 13. Une Histoire Simple 2:43 14. Ma Première Guitare 4:02