May 27, 2024

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CD review: Stephane Wrembel – The Django Experiment VI 2021: Video, CD cover

Award-winning guitarist STEPHANE WREMBEL will digitally release The Django Experiment VI on Water is Life Records on January 22, 2021, the 111th anniversary of the birth of legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt, one of the most celebrated and respected musicians of the 20th century.

As with the previous “experiments,” The Django Experiment V was recorded with Wrembel and his world-class band performing live, with no headphones or tracking, in a setting conducive to improvisation with each musician pushing their own boundaries to evoke new interpretations of Reinhardt’s music as well as songs by composers. Wrembel’s band includes long-time collaborators Thor Jensen (guitar), Ari Folman-Cohen (bass), Nick Anderson (drums), Nick Driscoll (saxophone and clarinet) and special guest, Daisy Castro (violin). It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Eric Ritter at The Windmill Recording Studio in Scranton, Pa.

A playful jaunt through Fats Waller’s album returns the set to familiar Sinti swing, before the mockingbird cackle of Nick Driscoll’s saxophone triggers Wrembel’s pin-wheeling triplets. By track’s end, breezy string jazz and cacophonous freestyle have battled to a stalemate. Reinhardt’s “Daphne” is an ebullient slipknot shuffle until second guitarist Thor Jensen’s rattlesnake strumming and Daisy Castro’s vortex of witchy violin cue Wrembel’s atonal careening-through-the guardrail guitar. Riding quizzical coils of violin, Reinhardt’s “Nuages” becomes a launching pad for spiraling picking from Wrembel, but it’s a freewheeling run-through of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” that ventures furthest afield. Driscoll’s snake-charmer saxophone and Jensen’s locomotive strumming entwine while Wrembel establishes the tune’s melody, but soon, with cascading triplets and scorpion’s tail vibrato, Wrembel slingshots the quintessential New York City composition out beyond the Kuiper Belt.

  1. Naguine
  2. Dream of You
  3. Impromptu
  4. Nuages
  5. Swing de Paris
  6. St. James Infirmary
  7. La valse des niglos
  8. Laguna laïta
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love?
  10. Naguine (Band version)

STEPHANE WREMBEL The Django Experiment VI reviews

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