A superb guitarist in the Django Reinhardt style, Angelo DeBarre (who was born in 1962), has been a major force in the European jazz scene since forming his first group in 1984. He started playing guitar when he was eight, growing up in a gypsy family. By the late 1980s, he was recording for the Hot Club label and becoming famous in the Gypsy Jazz world. He has not slowed down since.
Live at Le Quecumbar London features DeBarre leading a quartet with the great violinist Christian Garrick, rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie, and bassist Andy Crowdy. The repertoire is mostly filled with songs written or co-composed by Reinhardt so the set can be considered a tribute to both Django’s playing and writing style.
The solos of DeBarre and Garrick are uniformly excellent and, while obviously influenced by Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, display their own musical personalities too. Other than “Django’s Tiger” (based on “Tiger Rag”) and “Limehouse Blues,” the other selections are all worthy obscurities including such numbers as “Artillerie Lourde,” “Speevy,” the haunting “Bolero,” and “Feerie.”
The audience is rightfully appreciative of the brilliant and inventive playing on these performances which are fortunately available from the worthy Lejazzetal label.