Nguyên Lê is a maverick, a hyper-fluent guitarist with a penchant for mixing up genres. Born in Paris of Vietnamese descent, he’s regarded as a jazz musician, though his most celebrated albums pay tribute to 60s rock gods like Hendrix and Floyd. Here he teams up with a young traditionalist, Ngô Hong Quang, on fiddle and lute to portray “the soul of Vietnam” and its quickening evolution. There are jaunty folkish tunes, temple bells and ethereal melodies with titles like Heaven’s Ground, but nothing arrives without surprises. One moment you are among mountain clouds, then Lê unleashes a storm of widdly-diddly electric axe. Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu adds elegant Milesesque licks to a remarkable fusion of ancient and modern.
Even in the adventurous territory of jazz, this French-Vietnamese musician stands out as a unique explorer of sounds. His new CD will surprise even those who believe themselves to be, by now, familiar with the diversity of his musical output. The first unusual fact: Most of the tracks were recorded in Lê’s living room (pardon me, his salon), and also completed à la maison using his computer. The second unusual fact: This domestic method of producing music need not conjure up the cosy, well worn realm of familial comfort, in fact Nguyên Lê leads the listener into a space that is full to the brim with warped sounds and acoustical metamorphoses.
Nguyên Lê takes the title of his latest album from one of his favourite songs of freedom: Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” sits alongside hits from Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and the Beatles, whose “Eleanor Rigby” and “Come Together” frame the album - credit where credit’s due, these artists wrote some of the finest songs in recent memory. But Lê takes the liberty to unearth these icons of pop and rock history from their dust (or gold) covered depths and brings them to the present day and to the global village, with the help of his own formidable musical prowess as well as many exceptional guests from all over the world who provide support in his band.
Guitarist Nguyen Le has become the Parisian equivalent of Bill Frisell: a "changes player" who is not averse to kicking on nasty effects pedals or playing simply and folksy when the tune merits. But on this cooperative outing with drummer Peter Erskine and bassist Michel Benita, Le throws his own signature into the mix with the various odd bends and nontempered slurs he pulls off on the guitar, alluding to his Vietnamese heritage on pieces like "Sao Sen," "Zigzag" and "Free at Last" with a very personal touch on the fretboard.
A look "Exotic" on classics of 70s Pop Music. This new record is a continuation of another famous album "Rock" Nguyen Lê "Purple Celebrating Jimi Hendrix" .It comes to versions do not "cover" but to take possession of those songs that have become symbols a true global culture worshiped the world over, those songs now belong to everyone & the world has to sing in his own way. Attitude eminently Jazz finally own a music that has always combined respect for tradition and the freedom of the reinterpretation & improvisation.
Nguyên Lê (b. Paris, France, 14 January 1959) is a French jazz musician and composer of Vietnamese ancestry. His main instrument is guitar, and he also plays electric bass guitar and guitar synthesizer.He has released numerous albums, both as a leader and as a sideman. His 1996 album Tales from Viêt-Nam blends jazz and traditional Vietnamese music. Nguyên Lê has performed with Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, Eric Vloeimans, Carla Bley, Michel Portal, and Dhafer Youssef.