Sylvain Luc - Joko (2012)

Sylvain Luc

Joko (2012)

Basque guitarist Sylvain Luc's eclecticism is evident in the variety of material and styles on this set - from free-improv surfing on Indian percussion, to French traditional songs, and old hits from the Doors and Paul McCartney, and even a Keith Jarrett. But it also expresses itself in the instrumental surprises: cello and harmonica solos, and the beautiful clarinet sounds of jazz/classical reeds star Michel Portal. Fifteen short tracks, mixing originals and covers, increase the sense of kaleidoscopic vividness. Luc lays a relaxed, Django-like acoustic guitar over Jacky Terrason's rumbling piano vamp on Light My Fire, and funky blues tunes feature cello solos over urgent strumming. (Sometimes the band resembles Cassandra Wilson's 90s acoustic-blues bands, with more interesting improvising.) Some tracks are simply percussion-rich grooves, some are folksy turning into swing. It sounds as though Luc values every instrument's uniqueness, not just his own, and the sidemen are in the top flight.

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Guest albums

Il Sentiero (2012)Joko (2012)Argo (2012)

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