Pierre Bensusan is a true master guitarist, and one who has worn many hats over the years. Early records like his Grand Prix du Disque for Folk Music-winning debut, Pres De Paris, and it’s immediate follow-ups, 2 and Musiques, found their inspiration in the traditional music of the British Isles, and some of Bensusan’s arrangements of Irish melodies have become ubiquitous and beloved in the fingerstyle guitar repertoire.
As the 70’s gave way to the 80’s, the French-Algerian phenom embraced modern performance and recording technology, with reverb, looping, and sometimes even distortion finding their way into his increasingly non-traditional compositions. As time went on, the effects units were shelved… Bensusan once again wanted the voice of his unadorned acoustic guitar (often a cedar-topped Lowden, dubbed “The Old Lady”) to do the talking.
The new studio album Vividly, like his last few records, finds Bensusan exploring world music and jazz textures, with harmonic and rhythmic ideas that are often very sophisticated. Continue reading