A few posts ago I recommended Bireli Lagrene’s DVDs Live in Paris and Bireli Lagrene and Friends. These really are essential viewing/listening for any fan of gypsy jazz guitar. In my enthusiasm for more I ordered Django: a jazz tribute starring Bireli Lagrene and Babik Reinhardt. Unfortunately this DVD is not so successful. Its sole stars are Bireli and Babik, i.e. it is a jazz guitar duo, one of my least favourite combinations – even Jim Hall and Pat Metheny didn’t really do it for me. Bireli plays a solid body electric guitar and three of the four tunes on this 26 minute DVD are originals which mainly consist of dominant 7 sus 4 vamps with much mindless widdling up and down the guitar necks, impressive gymnastics but less impressive music. We can’t blame Bireli or Babik – the DVD has few details but it seems to be recorded a long time ago in the afternoon in a cafe with a fairly uninterested audience. We can blame the production company for putting this DVD out in 2005 and trying to cash in on Bireli’s fame and Babik’s heritage.
Another Bireli Lagrene DVD – but don’t add it to your shopping list