Album Reviews

Stephane Wrembel

The Django Experiment 1 & 2

Artist:     Stephane Wrembel

Album:     The Django Experiment 1 & 2

Label:     Water Is Life Records

Release Date:     3/31/2017


Gypsy jazz guitarist extraordinaire Stephane Wrembel is perhaps best known for “Bistro Fada,” the theme song from the 2011 Woody Allen Oscar-nominated movie, Midnight In Paris. Born in Fontainebleau, France, the home of Impressionism and Django Reinhardt, he began studying classical piano at the age of four, discovered Pink Floyd in his teens, and was smitten by the music of Django soon after. To gain experience with “Sinti style” guitar, he spent extensive hours playing in gypsy camps outside of Paris. In 2000, he enrolled in Berklee College of Music in Boston, from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and moved to New York City in 2003. Today he is recognized as the local authority on Django’s style, and one of the world’s finest guitarists.

Mr. Wrembel has just released The Django Experiment 1 and The Django Experiment 2 on Water Is Life Records. With 12 songs each, the CD’s show Mr.Wrembel’s guitar prowess via invigorating interpretations of Django’s music as well as original compositions by Wrembel and other artists.

“The Django Experiment is a re-exploration of my roots as a gypsy jazz guitarist, a tribute to Django Reinhardt, revisited with a new sound…sort of Django meets NYC meets the world. It is extremely traditional and non-traditional at the same time. What’s important is the use of colors and sounds over his music that has not been done before” says Wrembel.

“Dinette” from the 1st CD swings with the breezy brass of alto sax player Nick Driscoll and is a standout track as is the original minor waltz and Wrembel original “Windmills.” On the 2nd CD, “Boston”, another Wrembel original, evokes rainy days at Berklee College. “Double Scotch” by Django kicks things back into high gear and will provoke involuntary glee and head bopping. “Minor Blues” takes the groundwork laid by Django and branches into more experimental territory. Whether you like your Django straight up or with a twist, there’s something here for everybody, and Wrembel’s tasteful playing is sure to satisfy.

—Mike Cobb




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