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Boulou and Elios Ferre: New York, NY

Hailing from the same Gypsy tribe as the great Django Reinhardt, this pair of guitar playing brothers has a deep musical legacy behind it. However, while most Django-inspired groups remain rooted in the swing of the ’30s, the Ferres demonstrate that that influence is more of a spiritual nature as they effectively bebop their way through this eight-tune set.

Sometimes wielding amplified instruments, and always backed by pianist George Cables, bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Billy Hart, the brothers make intricate tapestries of numbers like “Israel,” “Ablution,” and “Au Privave,” contributing deft, swinging individual solos and occasionally engaging in tightly woven ensemble passages. Yet it is the more unconventional material, like “Intersection Sur Une Prelude de Bach,” which begins as a Cables-rendered chorale but eventually evolves into a grooving jazz romp that reveals their creative leanings and varied influences. And while there are a few rough edges in terms of execution that arise from the session’s spontaneous nature, the brothers Ferre leave no question that they can swing hard and blow with the best of them.

Originally Published