As a young teenager, guitarist Bireli Lagrene was a remarkable soundalike of Django Reinhardt. As he neared age 20, he largely tossed away his role model and delved into fusion and rock. By the time of this 1994 concert, Live in Marciac (a trio outing with bassist Chris Minh Doky and drummer André Ceccarelli), Lagrene had returned to straight-ahead jazz but (except for an occasional hint) he no longer did Reinhardt impressions, even on "Nuages." Lagrene actually comes closer to Barney Kessel in spots, although he mostly sounds fairly original. The well-played performance includes such numbers as "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" (which is over ten-and-a-half-minutes long), "Donna Lee," "Blues Walk" and "I Got Rhythm." An excellent example of Lagrene's playing of the mid-'90s.
A while ago, the Afro-Cuban die was cast when certain musicians from Cuba and northern Africa felt as if they grooved to a similar drummer. The traditions of that subgenre thrive today as more and more musicians like Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca and Malian guitarist/vocalist Fatoumata Diawara feel inclined to bridge the Altantic through the power of music. Their chance meeting led to a 45 day tour of Europe as a seven-piece band and At Home: Live in Marciac is the resulting album. Right from its opening bars, this album crackles. Fonseca’s clavinet lays down a funky foundation, the crowd begins to clap along on the second and fourth beats, and the entire band are off and running. “Sowa” quickly becomes an Afro-Cuban call to worship. And for her part, Diawara is just getting warmed up.
In the summer of 2008 multiple Grammy award winning jazz artist Wynton Marsalis and his quintet teamed-up with French accordionist Richard Galliano at the annual Jazz in Marciac festival in Southern France to pay tribute to the late jazz legends Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf. The result is a live recording, CD/DVD deluxe combination that captures this magical performance by two modern legends. The album, entitled The Wynton Marsalis Quintet & Richard Galliano - From Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf: Live in Marciac, captures the magical 9-song set list translating classic jazz vocal compositions into artful instrumental versions that are striking in their rhythmic variety…
Brad Mehldau's latest solo recording, the two-CD/single-DVD Live in Marciac begins with two tracks that contrast his astonishing technical facility and his considerable inventive gift for empathic interpretation. The opening "Storm" is an original four-minute exercise in furious counterpoint, expansive layered harmony, and swinging ostinato; it's followed by a complex yet utterly inventive lyrical reading of Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me" that not only underscores the lyric in its full harmonic voice, but expands upon it with low- and middle-register arpegiattic studies from Bach and Brahms without losing site of the tune. These are but two of the many surprises on this recorded in 2006.
Spectacular album from one of the best jazz swing and gypsy jazz guitar's players, is highly recommended.