Thursday, February 18, 2010

Roland Dyens visite au jazz: Night and Day

Roland Dyens visite au jazz: Night and Day ( English) Roland Dyens verkent de jazz: Night and Day ( Nederlands)

Every man to his trade .............. ?
Hans Koert

Let the cobbler stick to his last is a well-known saying. Every man to his trade ............

A few months ago I was pointed to a great classical guitar player, Roland Dyens. Joergen Larsen introduced us in his Choro-Music blog to the latest album made by Roland Dyens, titled Naquele tempo. This album was dedicated to the music of the Brazilian composer and patriarch of Choro music, Pixinguinha. Pixinguinha was, for those readers of this blog who have never heard about him, a Brazilian flute and saxophone player, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in April 1897. He developed with his compositions the musical traditions of Brazil into a musical genre named Choro. He inspired with his music numerous musicians, not only reed players, and the day he was born, the 23rd of April, is labelled as Choro Day in Brazil. On this album, Naquele tempo, Roland Dyens honours this legendary Brazilian composer.

photo courtesy: Roland

Roland Dyers, born in Tunisia in October 1955 learned to play the guitar from leading classical instrumentalists like the Spanish guitarist Alberta Ponce, and also studied composition as a student of Desiré Dondeyne, a well known composer and conductor. He won a lot of awards and at the age of 25 he was even labelled as les 100 meilleurs guitaristes mondiaux, tous styles confondus. ( = one of the Best Living Guitarists in all styles (!)) by the French guitar magazine Guitarist. Roland Dyens released dozens of albums, playing solo or in larger ensemble, most orientated to classical music, but when I viewed his discography I noticed that he played in a various range of styles. In his latest album, Naquele tempo, he honours the musical legacy of Pixinguinha, the Choro music, like he did in the album Heitor Villa-Lobos: Concerto pour guitare et petit orchestre. In Hommage á Georges Brassens and his series Chansons francaises he honours the tradition of French chansons . Roland Dyens also made some jazz orientated albums, like Nuages and Night and Day; and that's the album now playing in my CD-player. Night and Day, released in 2003, is a solo album, featuring 10 tracks - most jazz standards. It contains the well known Take The "A" Train written by the Duke and standards like Misty and A Night in Tunesia, All of Me, Toots Thielemans Bluesette and Cole Porter's Night and Day. On two tracks Roland is accompanied, but the others are solo recordings.

In my opinion classical orientated musicians shouldn't play jazz and so it is the other way around. Jazz music has that special touch, that feeling, the idioms of syncopation and blue notes which don't belong to the language of classical orientated musicians. But Dyens seems to constitute an exception. He "speaks" both languages and especially in Night and Day and Polkadots and Moonbeans ( in a duet with Michel Terrioux on vibes) he shows that he is a great guitar player. Love to share with you his version of A Night In Tunisia as it was released on his DVD album Anyway.

Roland Dyens proves with this album, dedicated to the great jazz standards, that he is a versatile musician who knows how to handle jazz. Every man to his trade is not a saying that points to Roland Dyens: exceptions prove the rules.

photo courtesy: Roland

I read on his website that he was the only classical guitar player invited to perform some weeks ago at a concert dedicated to Django Reinhardt, who was born 100 years ago. Isn't that great? Love to finish with Roland Dyens playing Nuages, ( not on the Night and Day album), one of the most well known Django tunes ............

It is a pity for us that no concerts have been scedulded in this part of Europe. Today he performs in Greece and if you want to hear him playing live during the next months you shall have to travel to Russia, Slovenia or just join him at a concert in Paris; in the mean time I'll stick about my CD-player........

Thanks Jo for pointing me to this great guitar player and this album.

Hans Koert

Roland Dyens, being a classical guitar player is one of those musicians almost unknown in the jazz scene. In Night and Day he visits the jazz, showing that he knows how to play it ....... The Keep Swinging blog loves to point you to this kind of albums that surprise ........ If you don't want to miss it, register for its weekly news letter.

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Blogger Jo said...

Thank you, Hans, for the review of this great album by Roland Dyens. As you point out, Mr. Dyens is one of a rare kind that masters both 'classical' and jazz at the guitar. The harmony of the featured jazz standards, however, originally follows the 'rules' of 'classical' compositions, but Mr. Dyens has made outstanding arrangements that capture both the 'melody' and improvisation like a 'real' jazzplayer. His command of the guitar proves that it can be done excellently without loosing the right jazz 'feeling'.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Carmen G said...

Great Ronald Dyens!!!
This summer Dyens will be joining the LIVORNO MUSIC FESTIVAL held in Tuscany

4:44 PM  

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