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Gypsy Jazz - Released February 24, 2017 | Whirlwind Recordings

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Gypsy Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Flying Blue Whale

Gypsy Jazz - Released August 7, 2015 | BDMUSIC

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Gypsy Jazz - Released February 1, 2015 | Frémeaux & associés

Gypsy Jazz - Released February 23, 2014 | Caravage

Gypsy Jazz - Released February 23, 2014 | Birdland

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Gypsy Jazz - Released March 25, 2013 | JMS

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Gypsy Jazz - Released June 18, 2012 | Francis Dreyfus Music

When guitarist Bireli Lagrene first debuted as a 13-year-old, he sounded like an exact duplicate of Django Reinhardt. Since that time, Lagrene has sought to develop his own individuality but most of his fusion and rock-oriented records have been of lesser interest. For My Favorite Django he returns to the Reinhardt repertoire (all but "Clair de Lune" are Reinhardt compositions) but with a difference. Keyboardist Koono reharmonized most of the songs drastically, aiming for an orchestral sound with his synthesizer with several pieces utilizing his charts for woodwind and string sections. However there is a good use of contrast, including a spontaneous guitar/piano duet on a medium-tempo "Blues for Ike." Lagrene sounds more original than he did in his early days and he has a very impressive technique. Unfortunately the rhythms played by electric bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Dennis Chambers are unremittingly funky and so unimaginative as to sound as if they were recorded on a different day! One assumes that they were following instructions but, whoever's fault it is, that fatal flaw sinks this effort. The complete lack of swing from the rhythm duo (even on the up-tempo "I Got Rhythm"-based "Babik") drains most of the joy and purpose from these songs. Simply put, the original versions by Django Reinhardt are much better. ~ Scott Yanow
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Gypsy Jazz - Released June 18, 2012 | Francis Dreyfus Music

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Gypsy Jazz - Released June 18, 2012 | Francis Dreyfus Music

Guitarist Bireli Lagrene has long built upon the tradition that began with the Gypsy swing of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with virtuoso guitarist Django Reinhardt. On this outing, Lagrene continues in the tradition while changing the instrumentation, incorporating drums, sax, and occasionally piano, but he also expands the repertoire to include modern songs written after Django's death. "After You've Gone" and "I'll See You in My Dreams" all fit like a comfortable pair of well-worn shoes, while Lagrene adds a friendly vocal to "All of Me" and digs up an old Reinhardt original ("Feerie") that gives the leader a chance to show off his chops. Lagrene also arranged several strong originals written by his musicians. His swinging treatment of George Benson's "Before You Go" features tenorist Franck Wolf in a breezy arrangement, while Lagrene switches to electric guitar for a laid-back setting of "Flamingo." Even Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" is successfully transformed into swing, though Lagrene's loungy "Tim and Zoe" features electric guitar and synthesizer in the style of George Benson's crossover recordings, a total misfit at the end of an otherwise flawless CD. ~ Ken Dryden

Gypsy Jazz - Released March 6, 2012 | Le Chant du Monde

Booklet

Gypsy Jazz - Released February 27, 2012 | JMS

Gypsy Jazz - Released January 20, 2012 | Le Chant du Monde

Booklet

Gypsy Jazz - Released May 26, 2011 | Le Chant du Monde

Gypsy Jazz - Released April 25, 2011 | Blaricum CD Company (B.C.D.) B.V.