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  1. #1

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    I am a huge electric Bireli fan. There's quite a lot of vid footage on Youtube but his 1994 trio appearance at the Marciac festival still stands out IMHO. This was 2 years after he recorded his "Standards" album and he was 28 at the time. His trio plays a set of standards, in the vein of the earlier album. From this concert a live album was issued but the video footage of a number of tunes is available on Youtube too.

    What we see IMHO is a young, very self assured and maybe a bit cocky Bireli that knows he is on top of his game. Flashy yes, but the interplay and musicality is always sublime. Remember this is a live concert and not a studio recording. This is what people want from him. And personally I love that in-your-face attitude of the young master.

    The whole trio is just fantastic and Bireli' is stellar.

    The challenge is to listen and not come up with the usual armchair cliches about pyrotechnics and Jim Hall comparisons etc. etc. This is (young) Bireli.

    C'est Si Bon


    Autumn Leaves


    The Days of Wine and Roses


    Nuages and Donna Lee


    Is there anybody that knows more about this concert? I'd like to turn this into a Blog entry. I have been negelecting my Blog for months ...

    DB

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    swinging like a bored housewife as the saying goes.

    So chameleonic. Not sure I’d recognise him from this clip, probably mistake him for Benson while I’d recognise his GJ sound anywhere.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    swinging like a bored housewife as the saying goes. So chameleonic. Not sure I’d recognise him from this clip, probably mistake him for Benson while I’d recognise his GJ sound anywhere.
    I never listen to his GJ stuff much. I appreciate it but that's about it.

    That take he does of Autumn Leaves is totally insane.

    DB

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    I never listen to his GJ stuff much. I appreciate it but that's about it.

    That take he does of Autumn Leaves is totally insane.

    DB
    i'm the opposite. i love his GJ and his electric fusion playing, while his bop playing leaves me cold.

  6. #5

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    I'm the opposite, too. His Jazz @ Vienne DVD is one of my most-played DVDs ever.

  7. #6

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    I need to get me a bored housewife.

    I can't argue with anything Dutch has to say. I envy Birelli's freedom to do anything that comes to mind. I may not always agree with his choices, but the man is earning.

    I re-entered the jazz guitar world after having left it pre uTube. I ran into these clips a few years back and I was like WTF... who IS this? Where the fsck did he come from?!!

    What struck me this time around is his chord work. I really like the way he accompanies the bass on Days. At the risk of a Jim Hall comparison, it's one of things I most admire and enjoy about Jim's playing as well. And, coincidentally, it's Days of Wine with Art Farmer that first hipped me to it.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I need to get me a bored housewife.

    I can't argue with anything Dutch has to say. I envy Birelli's freedom to do anything that comes to mind. I may not always agree with his choices, but the man is earning. What struck me this time around is his chord work. I really like the way he accompanies the bass on Days. At the risk of a Jim Hall comparison, it's one of things I most admire and enjoy about Jim's playing as well. And, coincidentally, it's Days of Wine with Art Farmer that first hipped me to it.
    Agreed. His playing on "C'est Ci Bon" and "The Days of Wine and Roses" is more balanced, compared to the two other tracks which are more flashy. But personally I like the kind of playing you find in that "Autumn Leaves" track too. You know, in your face take no prisoners kind of stuff. If you can pull it off, why not.

    Of course later in his career his playing evolved in different directions. His duo work with Sylvain Luc is great and very musical. Way more restrained too.

    DB

  9. #8

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    I have the Bireli Standards album and it isn't one I listen to much anymore since it lacks a certain emotional appeal. I love those standards but on this album they kind of lack some of their essence (if that makes any sense).

    My favorite Bireli album is Blue Eyes; Nice standards again, but what really gets me is how melodic he is on this album. Was he channeling how Sinatra interpreted this songs? Yea, there is the flash and the licks, but I find his solos 'sing' to me here. I often use my wife as a sounding board for things like this. E.g. When I play an album like Standards, I'll get the "can you play something more accessible to me?". When I play Blue Eyes I get "I love that".

    Here is I've Got You Under My Skin:

    Last edited by jameslovestal; 04-05-2020 at 08:42 PM.

  10. #9

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    just try "Live in Marciac" with Christian Escoudé and Babick Reinhardt...
    real jazz guitar!

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  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tootZ
    just try "Live in Marciac" with Christian Escoudé and Babick Reinhardt...
    real jazz guitar!

    Envoyé de mon SM-A520F en utilisant Tapatalk

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog
    … But personally I like the kind of playing you find in that "Autumn Leaves" track too. You know, in your face take no prisoners kind of stuff. If you can pull it off, why not…
    I'm down with that. I dare say if I had his chops for those tunes when I was in my late 20's it probably would've been more relentless, and much harder to listen to. I guess I just wanted to point out what a well rounded player he is.

  13. #12

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    I don’t think he’s “cocky” at all. He’s fluent in the idiom of jazz guitar. He experiences no obstacle between his musical ideas and their expression on the guitar. I admire that.

    I also think what some people think is “cockiness” is in fact his pleasure in making this music. Remember that line from “Chariots of Fire,” where Eric Liddel says “...God made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.”

    I think BG loves to play and enjoys being able to do what he does. He knows he can do it, he loves doing it, and he loves us enjoying it.

    I am almost going to explain to you the “Theory of the THree MOnsters” that J.R.R. Tolkien developed to interpret “Beowulf” but... that would be a digression.


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  14. #13

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    I'm a big fan of Mr. Lagrene. This is a funny but interesting video.


  15. #14

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    Cat can play, and does.

  16. #15
    lagrene is great as always.
    can you tell me what brand of strings and gauge he use on gibson archtops?

  17. #16

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    Whilst I can appreciate BG's technique, ability, fluidity and evident enthousiasm when he plays I have always found his acoustic gypsy jazz sound very thin and unsatisfying. Probably because a large part of my jazz initiation was listening to Django's Hot Club de France recordings. The fault is probably in my very demanding frame of sonic reference. My opinion has been formed not only listening to his recordings over the years (LP, cassette, CD) but also seeing him live. I remember him supporting Al di Meola on his World Sinfonia Tour (1991? 1992?) in a small local theâtre in Northern Frane where I lived at the time, and being blown away by his technique but left hungry on the basis of a "tinny" tone, very evident from where I was sitting. about 8 feet from him.