French guitarist Stephane Wrembel is hard to pin down.
His gypsy guitar music — steadily strum rhythms overlain with meandering guitar melodies plucked with impossibly nimble speed in the vein of the man who practically invented the genre, Django Reinhardt — not only alludes to the Paris he grew up in, it bears resemblance to the sounds of the world at large.
“What I play is not jazz,” Wrembel clarified. “My music is for everyone. What we do can be appreciated by a jazz listener, or by a rock listener, or by a world listener; by anyone, any age, any origin.”
Such flexibility is perhaps to be expected from a guitarist whose musical career began at an early age with an undying devotion to Pink Floyd (which remains just as powerful to this day—he saw Roger Waters perform “The Wall” 12 times last year); then expanded with his study of contemporary jazz, Indian, African and Middle Eastern music; and most recently earned him professional praise from filmmaker Woody Allen, himself an accomplished jazz clarinetist, who has used Wrembel’s songs in two of his films.
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