Belmondo, Stephane - 2.0

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Twenty years after the release of Ameskeri, their first multi–award winning duet album, trumpet player Stéphane Belmondo and guitarist Sylvain Luc have done it again, beautifully. The two freedom-loving buccaneers reveal, with the intimate 2.0, the maturity acquired from their rich experiences, but also a preserved youth. From the very first listen, the music stimulates both the brain and the heart. Apart from the album’s two covers (a piece by Philippe Sarde and another by Stevie Wonder), the original compositions are profoundly refined, whether signed by Luc or Belmondo. From the opus flows, as if from an underground spring, the improvisation, fresh and nurtured by time, of experience. The title 2.0 refers to both the 20 years since Ameskeri came out and the leap that has projected us into a society that is changing in the face of digital technology. “Our duo dates back to the late 90s,” says Belmondo. “It was born in a Parisian club—Le Baiser Salé—where we met at 2 a.m. and, just for fun, played until dawn.” The release of Ameskeri (1999) led to many concerts all over the world. “In 2017, I founded a quintet with Stéphane, the Chemirani brothers, and Lionel Suarez,” adds Luc. “After the band's first practice, Stéphane said, ‘What a thrill it is to play together again, it makes me want to relaunch the duo!’ to which I responded, without hesitation, ‘You know my answer!’ Soon after, we started the adventure again as a duo.” The reunion took place as if the two friends had never been apart. In June 2019, after their first show together (in Austria), a journalist said, "It felt like there was only one instrument, not two!” When listening closely to 2.0, one is struck by the telepathy that connects Luc and Belmondo, like an invisible thread. Ameskeri was completely improvised. The album 2.0 includes six compositions by the guitarist, three by the trumpet and bugle player, two covers (plus a digital bonus track), and three tracks—notably the title track, “2.0”—based on improvisation, the cornucopia from which Luc and Belmondo like to draw. Belmondo's blues track, “On The Same Road,” gives a friendly nod to the monumental Monk. A lot of space is given to ballads, such as Luc’s “Evanescence” and “Tard le soir,” and Belmondo’s “Joey's Smile” and “The Melancholy of Rita,” which unfold between joy and melancholy. Luc dedicated the swing feel of “African Waltz” to his musical twin, while the waltz he crafted for “Petite fourmi” highlights the importance of the inner song for the two partners. Both have come a long way. Their shared compass: an open-mindedness that readily guides them towards the unknown, towards the challenge that encourages them to outdo themselves. Winner of the 2010 Django Reinhardt Prize, awarded by the Académie du Jazz, Luc has collaborated with such diverse artistic personalities as Michel Legrand, Michel Jonasz, Didier Lockwood, Billy Cobham, Al Jarreau, Richard Galliano, Michel Portal, Bernard Lubat, Richard Bona, the classical guitarist Marylise Florid, and the Gnawa maâlem Abdeslam Alikane, among others. In 2001, his album Trio Sud, recorded with Jean-Marc Jaffet and André Ceccarelli, illustrated the rejection of limitations that guides him. Belmondo ignores labels just as gladly. After Chet Baker took him under his wing in 1985, he and his brother Lionel won the 1994 Django Reinhardt Prize, shortly before moving to New York in 1995. There, he experienced the crazy beats of the jazz Mecca to the fullest and performed at Carnegie Hall alongside Dee Dee Bridgewater. Back in France, he released his incandescent Hymne au Soleil in 2003, before recording with Yusef Lateef and Milton Nascimento. With 2.0, the brothers in swing have some surprises in store for us. While Ameskeri was entirely acoustic, this time the guitarist chose to broaden his palette by using effects. He was able to instill a sense of air and flesh into the electro. Mystery as well, like on “It's Real,” where you start losing yourself: it feels like walking through an imaginary land, somewhere Eastern that the trumpet delicately stirs up and fills with jazz. Who would have thought we’d be hearing Belmondo on the accordion (his first instrument) today? “Un homme dans la ville” is his offering to music lovers, taken from the soundtrack designed by Philippe Sarde for the 1977 film Mort d'un pourri, directed by Georges Lautner. Belmondo, who had the pleasure of playing Sarde’s scores, explained: "We were in the studio when we learned of the death of Marcel Azzola, with whom Sylvain and I worked a lot. Azzola had recorded this melody, immediately recognizable, by Philippe Sarde. Through this cover, we paid tribute to him.” Luc added, to emphasize: "During our week in the studio, we lost two loved ones, Marcel Azzola and Michel Legrand. This record is emotionally charged.” With “Un homme dans la ville,” Belmondo gives us with his accordian the essential substance—the stripped down purity of the melody—in total symbiosis with the lacy melodies Sylvain Luc weaves on the guitar. By the type of void that is aroused in us, which contrasts with the density of their playing, our attention is focused on not losing a drop of this honey. And it feels like a kind of sweet vertigo. Throughout 2.0, the two humble virtuosos amaze and delight. They provide the fullness of a rigorous and generous art.
Artikelnummer NJ7030
Streckkod 3700187670306
Utgivningsdatum 2019-10-18
Kategori Jazz
Skivbolag Naïve
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Belmondo, Stephane
Luc, Sylvain
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