January/February 1997

Babik Reinhart

True to its title, Babik Reinhardt's Nuances (RDC Records 400182; 64:48) explores in intricate detail many untapped moods of traditional and modern jazz forms. The French guitarist utilizes his immense experience to find an eloquent guitar melody within hard-timed fusion ("Rak Babik") and place hollow sounding, emotive synth effects in a lovely sparse jazz setting for a reflective effect lesser musicians would have missed. Using stellar players in small ensembles, Reinhardt's compositions glean some powerful solo voices. The legendary Stephane Grappelli cries out on violin with great sensitivity and attention to detail on "Une Histoire Simple," as a perfect counterpoint to Reinhardt's musing guitar. "Amis Blues" finds Reinhardt and company turning a familiar blues structure inside-out by spotlighting Grappelli's sly duet with alter-ego violinist Didier Lockwood. This attention to surprising detail makes Nuances an album which demands repeated listening.

Originally published in January/February 1997
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