Boulou Ferré

Guitar Legacy

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Guitarists Jean-Jacques "Boulou" and Elie "Elios" Ferré are descended from a long line of musically inclined French Gypsies, and were raised as prodigies by their father Pierre "Matelot" Ferrét (his sons have dropped the 't' from their surname). Classically trained, flamenco-inspired and well versed in the jazz tradition, they have built upon the legacy of Django Reinhardt not merely by emulating his distinctive style, but also by taking to heart his healthy attitude towards modern music. Born in 1951, Boulou began playing the guitar at the age of seven and recorded his first album when he was twelve; legend has it he opened for John Coltrane at the Antibes-Juan Le Pins Jazz Festival in 1964 and even sat in during Trane's first set. Elios is five years younger than Boulou; they began actively gigging together in 1978. Recorded live at the Jazzhus Slukefter in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens for the Danish Steeplechase label in May 1986 and reissued on CD in 1995, the Guitar Legacy album presents the Boulo Ferré Quartet in live performance. Teamed with bassist Jesper Lundgaard (born in Hilleroed, Denmark, 1954) and drummer Ed Thigpen (born in Chicago, 1930) the two guitarists work up variations on one original composition ("Change of Lives") a series of mainstream jazz standards, and two refreshing exercises in modernity: Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" and "Subconscious-Lee," a self-portrait by alto saxophonist Lee Kontiz that unfailingly invokes the spirit of Lennie Tristano. The brothers Ferré reinvent each chord progression with percussive intensity, reveling in the spirit of collective improvisation and endlessly revisiting the contours of that magical realm explored by Django Reinhardt during the last six years of his life.

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