Les Doigts de l’Homme
Alma ACD61412 www.almarecords.com
Les Doigts de l’Homme – guitarists Olivier Kikteff, Yannick Alcocer, and Benoit “Binouche” Convert, and acoustic bassist Tanguy Blum – is an amazing French band whose music is now available locally thanks to Alma records. Florid guitar lines, interesting solos, a great groove, and tight ensemble playing means these gentlemen could even make a C major scale sound inspirational if asked to do so!
Django Reinhardt was born in 1910, thus the name of this tribute CD. The band covers a number of the guitar legend's tunes like Minor Swing, interspersed with some classic numbers like Irving Berlin's Blue Skies, and originals by band member Kikteff. Each track is a work of aural art. The upbeat cover of the Kern/Hammerstein song Ol' Man River is a surprising success with its punchy shots and zippy tempo. Reinhardt’s Swing 48 features Kikteff’s technical wizardry and Convert’s contrasting lush tonal quality in their solo work. The chromatic melody lines of Kikteff’s Niglo l Waltz are reminiscent of French musette accordion music, one of the many influences on Reinhardt's own music. The scratchy vinyl record sound on the final track is a nice closing touch.
The liner notes describe the band's high regard of Django's music. “He is a perpetual source of inspiration and we are grateful that his music has made its way into our lives today.” And this exactly how I feel about Les Doigts de l’Homme's “1910” too!