The French gypsy guitarist Stephane Wrembel celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Django a Gogo Festival on Friday night at Carnegie Hall, and he has lined up some six-stringers that you wouldn't normally associate with Django Reinhardt, the hot-jazz pioneer. Among them is the great Al Di Meola, who recently joined Wrembel in a unique studio session at WBGO.
Di Meola rose to fame, playing music with a distinctly more Spanish flair, when he was only a teenager — and later became a prominent voice in jazz-rock, with Return to Forever and on his own. He notes here that while French composers like Debussy were always on his radar, he has never taken the opportunity to address France's gypsy-swing lineage directly. (He does, however, have associations with the word "gypsy": this year he's celebrating the 40th anniversary of Elegant Gypsy, an album made with the late Spanish flamenco virtuoso Paco de Lucía.)
This session features Di Meola on Reinhardt's classic composition "Nuages," as well as a Wrembel original called "Bistro Fada," which you may recognize from the soundtrack to Woody Allen's Academy Award-winning film Midnight in Paris (2011).
Stephane Wremble, guitar
Al Di Meola, guitar
David Gastine, guitar
Thor Jensen, guitar
Ari Folman Cohen, bass
Nick Anderson, drums
Nick Driscoll, soprano saxophone
Music mix by David Tallacksen with assistance from Cory Goldberg and Chris Tobin.
Producer and host: Simon Rentner