Guitarist Bireli Lagrene commenced his career as a teenage prodigy, performing the music of famed gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Lagrene, also a gypsy, furthered the lineage of Django's distinctive style and influence while displaying unbelievable maturity and chops for such a young lad. As time moved on, the guitarist experimented within various styles, performing with guitarist Larry Coryell, the late bassist Jaco Pastorious, and releasing some relatively uneven recordings for Blue Note records. Essentially, the artist failed to achieve the anticipated notoriety in the United States, while this two-CD set features material recorded between 1984-1985 at New York City's Carnegie Hall and the Freiburg Jazz Festival. Here, Lagrene is backed by a bassist and either one or two rhythm guitarists as they perform the leader's originals, Rheinhardt compositions, and other works. However, American guitarist Vic Juris joins Lagrene on several pieces, including a vibrant and altogether gorgeous rendition of Chick Corea's "Spain" and a peppery spin on Charlie Parker's "Ornithology." Hence, these recordings find a then-teenage Lagrene in top form.
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AllMusic Review by Glenn Astarita
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2