Monday, January 4, 2010

Gypsy swing

2004. Bireli Lagrene. You will realize, when you listen to him, why it did not take me long to understand that this prodigious kid would necessarily become an international star.

Later on he revealed himself capable of understanding a music piece in less time than is required to write it… and he played and plays today with anybody without difficulty. Obviously he never studied music, that is how it is taught in the “Conservatoire”. He does not read partitions for example. He plays everything by ear.

Around 16 years of age he listens to Georges Benson, Jimmy Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, American jazz and he absorbs everything at a phenomenal speed. What is more, he works the violin, the bass... Soon he escapes to the US and plays everywhere with Jaco Pastorius, the most famous virtuoso bassist of the time. At age 24, Biréli has assimilated all American music and jazz. He can play with the best.

He has, for around the last 2 years, started a group which plays the themes of Django. In the group there are gypsies but also the son of… Jacques Dutronc. How long will Biréli stay in this line? Probably not too long, the danger for him being to be completely absorbed, body and soul, and thus to be squelched in a certain sense, by the spirit of “show business”…


  1. Wow! Great musicien!!! Thank you for sharing.
    As you said, I hope he will not be completly absorbed by the world of show business.

  2. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

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