Kruno and Ludo
After his first much noticed CD release of 2006, this is the new opus of Americano-Croatian guitarist Krunoslav \"Kruno\" Spisic. Recorded again on our friend Alain Cola’s label, who has had the good idea to pair Kruno with the accordionist Ludovic Beier, Angelo Debarre’s road companion for a few years and also the leader of his own jazz quartet. . Ludovic has traveled to and played many times in the U.S with Angélo in particular; He has had the privilege to play at Birdland, the temple of the jazz in New York. He met Kruno there in 2006, opening the show each evening with him and Samson Schmitt. In April 2007, Ludovic spends a month and half in New York; Kruno invites him to Philadelphia; together they start recording a few titles and end up putting an album together in about a week’s time. They just played for the pleasure without much design, but did they do well! The two virtuosos were ready for the encounter, one has the impression that they always played together. With a background in Musette accordion music Ludovic, Grand Award Gus Viseur 2005, has expended his sense of swing through contacts with the great Manouche guitarists; his limpid phrasing combines precision, lyricism and elegance.
Kruno, a sensation at the guitar makers booths at the 2007 Samois Festival has assimilated all the subtleties of Gypsy jazz and transcends them in a beautiful personal style combining virtuosity, impressive presence and frightening effectiveness and inventiveness.
Scott Churchman is still on the acoustic bass, while it is now Vjekoslav Dimter on the rhythm guitar. His rhythm combines a rigorous drive with a smooth regularity. The two soloists combine their talents on 13 titles, a majority of carefully chosen standards: (Bernie\' S tune, Django’s Daphne, Take the E train, Sonny Rollins’s Oleo, Don\' t get around much anymore of Ellington, Russian Lullaby with an extended quote of Dark Eyes.), and without ever competing with swing, virtuosity and technique manage to put the music first.
Ludo and Kruno give the impression of an incredible facility on fast tempo (Oleo cf: Boy, does that one move!) as well as on more sedate pieces (cf Manha de Carnaval, a bolero version with Ludo imperial on the accordina and a blazing chorus by Kruno). For the remainder of the repertory, the Czardas of Monti, a bravura piece if there is one doesn’t leave much to envy to Angelo’s version, a masterpiece of this style, two of Ludovic compositions (the very melodic Philadelphie sur Seine, an opportunity for a brilliant solo by Kruno, and Pour Stein, a very Parisian meditation) and two marvellous compositions by guitarist Lulu Reinhardt (Noto Swing and Lulu Swing, the occasion for a beautiful guitare/accordion exchange of a great freshness and inspiration). No competition here but a dialogue perfectly balanced between high level musicians, who respect each other. Of note, Letcho Gurgo a composition of Schnuckenack Reinhardt, adapted and sung in Croatian. This album is not only classic traditional swing Manouche it is also very classy.
Francis Couvreux chronicler for www.etudestsiganes.asso.fr