Ismael Reinhardt

Gypsy Swing, Vol. 2

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A quick follow-up to the relatively successful Gypsy Swing, this sophomore album on ARC from Ismael Reinhardt, current heir to the name of jazz guitar's greatest figure, is a mix of standards and originals in the style of Django primarily. The overall effect is hit-and-miss, however. Some of the standards are treated lovingly and given their due reverence, and others are given an update in the vein of smooth jazz (complete with soft electronic keyboards and reverb effects). While each group of pieces would by itself be fine, the juxtaposition of the two styles of performance tends to make the more contemporary stylings something of a shallow feel. The guitar work is very nice, though Reinhardt is occasionally upstaged by guest guitarist Bireli Lagrene (a journeyman by any standard, but a fine one). German gypsy violinist Titi Winterstein also makes a couple of noteworthy appearances. A fine album, though a Reinhardt playing gypsy jazz is unavoidably going to spur comparisons to Django, and that's perhaps too large a shadow for Ismael to shine in.

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