By Damian Fanelli
Gypsy-jazz guitarist Stephane Wrembel—who was recently featured as one of GuitarWorld.com’s Seven Contemporary Jazz Guitarists Worth Checking Out—is releasing two new albums March 3 via Water Is Life Records.
The albums—The Django Experiment I and The Django Experiment II—primarily feature Wrembel’s interpretation of the songs of legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, plus a handful of original compositions by Wrembel and others.
Wrembel, who is from France and lives in New Jersey these days, got a major boost from Woody Allen when the filmmaker used Wrembel’s song, “Bistro Fada,” in his successful (and pretty damn good) 2011 comedy, Midnight in Paris. You can watch Wrembel play “Bistro Fada” below.
Subsequently, Wrembel was selected by composer/producer Hans Zimmer to perform at the 2012 Academy Awards as part of his All Star Band. Wrembel has contributed music to two other Woody Allen films, plus commercials and TV, and now he has a Clio Award (and a Grammy Award) under his belt.
The two Django albums were recorded, mixed and mastered by Eric Ritter at Windmill Agency Recording Studio in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania. Wrembel was joined in the studio by longtime collaborators Thor Jensen (guitar), Ari Folman Cohen (bass), Nick Anderson (drums) and Nick Driscoll (saxophone, clarinet). Both albums feature original artwork by Wrembel.
“Twenty-five years ago, I spent many years with the gypsy masters, patiently learning their craft the traditional way,” Wrembel says. “It’s been a long journey touring the world and experiencing the NYC jungle’s energy. I spent the last 15 years composing and touring, playing my own music.
“The Django Experiment is a re-exploration of my roots as a gypsy jazz guitarist [and] a tribute to Django Reinhardt, revisited with a new sound and years of integration of new musical informations…sort of Django meets NYC, meets the world. It is actually extremely traditional and extremely non-traditional at the same time. What’s important is the use of colors and sounds over his music that has not been done before.”
The albums’ release coincides with the Django A Gogo Music Festival, which will take place March 3 at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Wrembel will perform at the event, along with Al Di Meola, Stochelo Rosenberg, Larry Keel, Ryan Montbleau, David Gastine, Nick Anderson, Thor Jensen Ari Folman Cohen and Nick Driscoll. For more about that, head here.
For more about Wrembel, visit StephaneWrembel.com.