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Sylvain Luc/Bireli Lagrene: Duet

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The sparks fly when the Gypsy and French guitarists get together for their first-ever recorded encounter. But there’s more than just blazing guitar heroics here. Interspersed with the mindboggling fretboard frolics by Lagrene and Luc, there are tender moments of romance and lyricism, as on Bruno Martino’s “Estate,” Edmond Bacri’s “La Ballade Irlandaise,” Luc’s lovely waltz “Zurezat” or a touching farewell to Michel Petrucciani on the pianist’s own “Looking Up,” which features some Jaco-inspired fretless electric bass work by Lagrene.

Luc and Lagrene lock horns in a highly-charged homage to Bireli’s Gypsy roots on “Made in France” and effortlessly swing their way through Django Reinhardt’s “Douce Ambiance.” Even on a funky, spirited rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” these virtuosos can’t help double-timing their solos and providing all manner of fretboard thrills, as they also do on a tongue-in-cheek, reggae-fied reading of “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” The two turn in an introspective rendition of Wes Montgomery’s “Road Song,” then engage in a lively give-and-take on Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.” There are several sizzling examples here to curl the toes and warm the adrenaline-pumped hearts of guitar fanatics.