Djangology/To Bi or Not to Bi

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Guitarist Bireli Lagrene is one of several European heirs to the tradition of Gypsy swing launched by Django Reinhardt. Lagrene has incredible technique on display through this two-CD set, which compiles a solo concert and a meeting with the WDR Big Band, which have also been released separately. In the solo live set, the guitarist plays ten originals that show the influence of Django Reinhardt yet incorporate elements of modern jazz and other styles. The intricate "Sur la Croisette" will impress fans of classical guitar, though it is very much a jazz composition. His moving take of "La Belle Vie" revives a popular decades-old ballad written by jazz guitarist Sacha Distel. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Guitarist Bireli Lagrene is one of several European heirs to the tradition of Gypsy swing launched by Django Reinhardt. Lagrene has incredible technique on display through this two-CD set, which compiles a solo concert and a meeting with the WDR Big Band, which have also been released separately. In the solo live set, the guitarist plays ten originals that show the influence of Django Reinhardt yet incorporate elements of modern jazz and other styles. The intricate "Sur la Croisette" will impress fans of classical guitar, though it is very much a jazz composition. His moving take of "La Belle Vie" revives a popular decades-old ballad written by jazz guitarist Sacha Distel. One wild twist is Lagrene's blending of two rock songs, Queen's "We Are the Champions" and "We Will Rock You," with the 1960s pop hit "It Was a Very Good Year" in a long medley, which actually proves to be viable in a jazz setting, though the middle selection is its weakest link. On the second disc, Lagrene is joined by the WDR Big Band for a concert that is essentially a salute to Django Reinhardt, with a few modern twists added and imaginative arrangements by conductor Michael Abene. He plays electric guitar (which Reinhardt also utilized on occasion during the last decade of his career). There is also material not associated with Reinhardt, such as Lagrene's fiery bop opener "Place du Tetre," which is full of a distracting series of song quotes, while his sincere vocals in "The Shadow of Your Smile" and "The Good Life" (both written long after Reinhardt's death) are a nice surprise. The Reinhardt selections are all superb efforts. "Anouman" is an obscure masterpiece written by Reinhardt shortly before his death; Lagrene's touching rendition also features baritone saxophonist Jens Neufang. Abene's distinctively post-bop scoring of Reinhardt's "Impromptu" ignites Lagrene, who takes plenty of chances in his crowd-pleasing solo. The guitarist is also absolutely amazing in the uptempo post-bop setting of "Caravan."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2007
  • Label: Dreyfus
  • UPC: 764911669526
  • Catalog Number: 36695

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Place du Tertre - WDR Big Band (9:16)
  2. 2 Good Life - WDR Big Band (5:07)
  3. 3 Djangology - WDR Big Band (6:00)
  4. 4 Impromptu - WDR Big Band (8:27)
  5. 5 The Shadow of Your Smile - WDR Big Band (6:12)
  6. 6 Blues en Mineur - WDR Big Band (8:59)
  7. 7 Anouman - WDR Big Band (5:37)
  8. 8 Fleche d'Or - WDR Big Band (6:48)
  9. 9 Caravan - WDR Big Band (6:20)
  10. 10 All of Me - WDR Big Band (6:53)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Sur La Croisette (7:10)
  2. 2 London (Soli Love) (5:52)
  3. 3 R & Bi (3:12)
  4. 4 Deauville en Ville: We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You/It Was a Very (5:45)
  5. 5 Sous Les Pommiers (4:04)
  6. 6 Capucines (2:19)
  7. 7 La Belle Vie (1:55)
  8. 8 Madras Express (5:43)
  9. 9 Amparo (10:42)
  10. 10 Bar de Nuit (6:13)
  11. 11 To Bi or Not to Bi (2:05)
  12. 12 Vague à l'Âme (6:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Biréli Lagrène Primary Artist, Guitar
Michael Abene Conductor
John Goldsby Bass
Dave Horler Trombone
Rob Bruynen Trumpet
Andy Haderer Trumpet
Bernt Laukamp Trombone
Klaus Osterloh Trumpet
Olivier Peters Tenor Saxophone
Heiner Wiberny Alto Saxophone
Frank Chastenier Piano
Jens Neufang Baritone Saxophone
Ludwig Nuss Trombone
Hans Dekker Drums
Karolina Strassmayer Alto Saxophone
Mattis Cederberg Bass Trombone
Frederik Köster Trumpet
John Marshall Trumpet
Technical Credits
Freddie Mercury Composer
Django Reinhardt Composer
Sacha Distel Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Michael Abene Arranger
Rene Ameline Engineer, Mastering
Ervin Drake Composer
Francis Dreyfus Producer
Duke Ellington Composer
Dave Horler Arranger
Johnny Mandel Composer
Jack Reardon Composer
Juan Tizol Composer
Paul Webster Composer
Reinhold Nickel Engineer
Christian Pegand Producer, Management
Seymour Simons Composer
Gerald Marks Composer
Lucas Schmid Producer, Liner Notes, Artistic Director
Norbert Ommer Contributor
Vincent Mahey Live Sound
Benjamin Joubert Mastering
James Wood Arranger
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