Biréli Lagrène: Where Do You Go From Here?

Biréli Lagrène (Live In Montreux 1981) {JohnFloyd}:

Here’s a solo performance by young Biréli Lagrène, who at the time was only 14 years old.

Now I know what you are thinking…

Where do you go from here?

The answer was (or is)

Biréli Lagrène has had a tremendous career which included meeting and collaborating with  some of the most distinguished jazz musicians on the international scene, such as Stéphane GrappelliBenny Goodman, and Benny Carter. In 1984, he met Larry Coryell in New York. Later, he was introduced to bassist Jaco Pastorius and ventured with him into jazz fusion. Together, they toured Europe, which contributed a great deal to Lagrène’s musical emancipation. Lagrène has also performed live with guitarist Al Di Meola.

Back to a more traditional style, Lagrène recorded Gipsy Project and Gipsy Project and Friends in 2002. Along with his usual cohorts Diego Imbert (double bass) and Hono Winterstein (rhythm guitar), the latter session featured Henri Salvador and Thomas Dutronc (son of legendary French pop pair Françoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc).” see more info here

Now in this video (which is quite long), the first piece you may notice that Biréli’s guitar is out of tune. Well, no matter.. He settles down and proceeds to perform some of the most intricate guitar moves that masters twice his age can’t handle. Now of course, there’s no stopping a guitarist like Biréli who of course mastered a lot more than just his roots of Gypsy Jazz.
Biréli has developed the ability to play what I call the serious heavy duty chord changes and voicings that are not necessarily common in Gypsy Jazz.  Yea, it didn’t hurt to hang with some of the modern day jazz cats like Jaco and Larry Coryell when he was younger but, I’m sure they were influenced by Biréli as well.


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