Christian LABORDE, steel string guitar
Benoît ALBERT, classical guitar
At first glance, it would seem that Christian Laborde and Benoît Albert were from two different worlds — fingerstyle for Christian and classical for Benoît. But, driven by curiosity, they began a musical dialogue between steel and nylon strings. Day after day, patiently mixing colors and influences, they crafted a unique repertoire that is based on improvisation and transcends their own personal musical styles.
Their first CD “… à deux” is the result of that special collaboration. The title of each track is like a clue, a trail to follow as in a childhood game, leading the listener to discover a new musical world.
compositions by the Duo
Lever de rideaux
Paris par tons
Tuesday in the evening
CD review “… A deux”
Minor 7th USA
Two guitars, nylon and steel string mixing melody, harmony, rhythm, groove. Christain Laborde and Benoît Albert, in their first-ever CD collaboration find all kinds of musical common ground to explore on “…A Deux.” The playing is exquisite – powerful, refined, lyrical, and at times, magical. Their artistry makes you feel like these guys have been playing together for a long time. There is no hesitation or awkward space seeking what is coming next, just flowing interplay that feels organic, not scripted. The CD begins with the propulsive “L’ego Land,” interweaving often parallel, then complementary lines, traveling like a Mustang Cobra through rush hour traffic. “Je dis 23″ (I say 23) is a gentle melange of colors. Groove is again pulling at the listener on “Groovy-groova” in an almost bossa-nova way. “Sucre-sal” begins with a gentle sub-text with Albert’s sensitive melody, always bringing us to that sweet place of delight aurally. We move into a minor key and darker textures on “A l’ancienne” driven by a staccato bass line and Albert again singing melody on his nylon strings. Laborde creates marvelous sonic landscapes in his picking. “Turkish Blues” is at once happy and free, yet ethereal and sassy, dancing the night away in Istanbul with your saz falling off your head. “Ou est le 4?” features Laborde’s gorgeous fingerpicking chiming with particular resonance, playing off ¾ time so the question is where is the 4? “Lever de rideaux” is a power ballad pushing and pulsing. The one tune with an Engish title, “Tuesday in the Evening,” features octave lines creating a mirror image of pastel warmth. “Paris par ton” repeatedly asks what seems a haunting question while posing several possible answers. The longest cut on the disk – at almost 7 minutes – is at the end, “Odal’ oud,” a melancholic dirge born in Middle Eastern tones; you can almost feel the souk. This is a first-rate offering of duo acoustic guitar music by Laborde and Albert.
© Kirk Albrecht