JazzTimes is honored to present the premiere of the video for “Improvisation 1,” written by Gypsy guitar master Django Reinhardt and performed by French guitarist and Gypsy-jazz specialist Stephane Wrembel. The track will appear on Wrembel’s forthcoming album Django L’Impressionniste, to be released on October 18 by Water Is Life Records.
As on the rest of the album, which consists entirely of Reinhardt compositions, Wrembel is the sole performer on “Improvisation 1.” Read his comments about Django L’Impressionniste and this video in particular below:
“I am very proud of this unusual Django Reinhardt project, which took me three years to bring to completion. I spent all that time transcribing and memorizing the 17 preludes composed by Django and then bringing them to the right level of performance for this recording and for live concerts.
“The album contains all 17 solo pieces, which have never been done before. You can feel in this collection the importance and the influence of classical composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel in Django’s musical aesthetic. It’s a unique repertoire: classical music on the guitar, but not classical guitar. This is a new sound.
“The video is a rendition of the first solo work Django ever recorded, ‘Improvisation 1.’ But the title is misleading, it is obviously a well-prepared piece, one that shows the obvious connection with the French Impressionists, the command of classical harmony but also all the creative genius of the grand master of guitar that Django Reinhardt was.
“This video is the first of 17 – yes! I am going to release videos of every track, all filmed at the Salt Stage [in Rockland, Maine]. So get ready for a serious dose of Django the Impressionist!”
Wrembel will perform the 17 Reinhardt compositions together in public for the first time at the Lyon Opera House in Lyon, France, on October 19.
To find out more about Stephane Wrembel, visit his website.