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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Lulo Reinhardt @ Sage Gateshead. September 30

Lulo Reinhardt (guitar), Christophe König (violin), Winfried Schuld (piano), Harald Becker (electric bass) & Uli Krämer-Ragusi (percussion)
(Review by Russell).
Babik Reinhardt played the Newcastle Jazz Festival in a band featuring the teenage Bireli Lagrene. Some three decades later Hot Club devotees, a cross section of music lovers and a birthday girl filled the ground floor in Hall Two at Sage Gateshead keen to give a warm Geordie welcome to Lulo Reinhardt, great nephew of Django.
Lulo, tall, pony-tailed, walked onto stage with his regular touring band, smiled, sat down and spoke engagingly in excellent English to an adoring crowd. Lulo described his music as ‘Latin Swing’, alerting Hot Clubbers to the fact the evening wouldn’t be a pastiche of the Django-Stêphane oeuvre. Lulo performed two sets (including an encore) in excess of two and a half hours, taking the audience on a world music tour stopping off in far-flung places. Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, France, Israel, Morocco, Spain, USA and Copeland, England were, variously, formative, influential and, simply, stamps in his well-travelled passport; the life of an itinerant musician.
To the disappointment of some, Lulo and band used amplification, at times unsparingly. Violinist Konig dazzled throughout with virtuoso playing, soloing as often as his bandleader. Percussionist Uli Krämer-Ragusi shone behind the kit and with an array of additional instruments including udu, beat box, gong and water-filled tupperware box. Lulo spoke little of Django; one story revealed a through-the-keyhole glimpse of the life – days in Montmartre and trips to Samois sur Seine. Hot Club swing surfaced from time to time, otherwise Lulo Reinhardt played it his way. A brilliant technician, breath-taking at times, a standing ovation across the hall affirmed Lulo’s musical vision. Hot Clubbers raised little objection, going with the flow. Their mission will be to seek out Lulo at the annual celebration of all things Django at Samois.                            
Russell.

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