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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 12 Aug. 2007
This review is from: To Bi Or Not to Bi/Djangology (Audio CD)
The first CD labelled 'A tribute to Django Reinhardt' is Bireli playing his modern jazz with a big band. Notably I think fans of Bireli will be pleased to hear him exploring the music, the big band at times adds great insight into the standards. Bireli's playing is modern in this CD, and it is definitely technical and proficient. He pushes himself musically where he actually sings on two of the tracks. 'Good Life' and 'Shadow of your smile'. His vocals sounds a little awkward but honest at the same time. I found that the big band arrangements were good, but doesn't do enough in my opinion in exploring the music. Ultimately I don't feel that it is arranged well enough, and lingers uncomfortably in the background of Bireli's soloing. In fact, if you were to listen to the recordings Django did with a big band, they sound remarkably fresh and swinging, unlike what is displayed on the CD which has a tendency to sound even more dated! Bireli's playing is good if you enjoy his modern sound. One of the stand out songs is 'Minor Blues', really moody and swinging, Django would be proud! Overall 3/5

The solo CD is a bit of a strange affair. It displays Bireli's solo compositions which are by and large improvised. However, those who aren't accustomed to Bireli's solo improv will find this CD incredibly inaccessible. Because structurally, it is incredibly organic and thus had a tendency to be neurotic too. After saying so, there is no doubt in my mind that Bireli is a virtuoso, perhaps one of the world's greatest in terms of ideas and creativity. His playing is eclectic, taking us through classical riffs, blues, rock, and even eastern folk. Therefore I did find this remarkably interesting to listen to and perhaps more satisfying. But this has to come with the patience and frustration at the same time. The solo CD is definitely one for those who are familiar with Bireli and his musical ethos. 4/5
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Location: Samois

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