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A year ago, the French-born Gypsy-jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel released two albums that added up to a tribute to his muse, the iconic Belgian jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt: The Django Experiment I and The Django Experiment II. The recordings showcased Wrembel’s superlative interpretations of Reinhardt’s songs as well as foundational Gypsy-jazz standards and original compositions by the guitarist himself. For Wrembel, a Frenchman who spent years living and playing in Brooklyn (he now lives in New Jersey), the music served as kind of roadmap through his two-decade career as one of the premier guitarists and composers in all of jazz. He called it “a re-exploration of my roots as a gypsy jazz guitarist, a tribute to Django Reinhardt, revisited with a new sound and years of integration of new musical informations…sort of Django meets NYC meets the world.”
On April 13, 2017, shortly after releasing the two albums, Wrembel and his virtuosic trio visited Paste Studio to play three selections. “I wanted to have a live, organic session,” he said of the Django Experiment project. “So we went in the studio, plugged everything in live, like we do live, and just played. I got the studio for three days, and was like, let’s just play whatever we want, whatever makes us feel good. We went in and recorded 24 tracks, so we ended up with two albums in three days, which was kind of cool.”
For the Paste session, Wrembel was joined by longtime collaborators Thor Jensen on guitar and Ari Folman Cohen on bass. Watch the trio fly through breathtaking performances “Valse De Bamboula,” “Ma Premiere Guitare” and “Blues Mineur,” captured one year ago on this date.