Ismael Reinhardt

Gypsy Swing

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Somewhere down the Reinhardt lineage Ismael was born. While certainly not known particularly well outside Europe, and even in Europe known mostly for being a descendant of the great Django Reinhardt, Ismael has some chops on the guitar and gets to show them off here. His real forte is in contemporary jazz, but for the sake of a tribute, this album is built from the gypsy jazz era into the swing era and sing era of Sinatra and the like (with a stray bop number thrown in for good measure). Reinhardt takes the duties of both Django and Stephane Grappelli in the re-creations of the old Hot Club numbers, holding guitar and violin equally well. Session players from the European jazz scene fill in the rest of the stringed roster. On the old gypsy swing classics and related pieces he shines. On the sing-era numbers, despite an avowed love for Sinatra, the instrumentation doesn't translate as well. On the Sonny Rollins classic "Pent-Up House," he sounds even more rushed and disjointed than the composition calls for. It's a decent album, but one to be viewed as a contemporary jazz guitarist taking on classics for the sake of history rather than experience.

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