Raphaël Faÿs, guitar – Django & Classic – Chant du Monde Raphaël Faÿs, guitar – Gypsy & Classic – Chant du Monde

by | Mar 5, 2007 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Raphaël Faÿs, guitar – Django & Classic – Chant du Monde 274 1446.47 (2 CDs) (Distr. by Harmonia mundi) ****:

Raphaël Faÿs, guitar – Gypsy & Classic – Chant du Monde 274 1436.37 (2 CDs) (Distr. by Harmonia mundi) ****:

The note booklets may be a bit overblown promotion-wise, but it appears the Paris-born Fays has been a leading figure in Gypsy jazz for the past two decades. Most of his career took place in the 70s and 70s when public interest in Gypsy jazz had not grown to the extent it has today.  Fays pioneered in the use of Latin rhythms and modern repertory and influence the Django craze which has birthed such stars as Bireli Lagrene, Stochelo Rosenberg and others, and prompted Gypsy jazz festivals around the world.

These four discs have no recording dates but one Fays web site they are listed as being made last year. The most amazing fact abut Raphael Fays is his versatility in excelling in not only the Gypsy jazz area but also with classical and flamenco. In fact on the first of these two double-CD albums 12 of the 20 selections on the Classical disc are originals by Fays, and on the second album all 21 tracks are Fays compositions.

The classical sides feature Fays on solo acoustic guitar.  On the Django disc in the first album he is backed by guitarists Samy Dausset, and Rene Charles Mallet, with Jean Claude Beneteau on doublebass. On the Gypsy disc of the second album, the two backing guitarists are replaced by Ramon Galan.  The classical guitar pieces are a delight, sounding something like the familiar ones but with a twist here and there. Fays’ Suite Espagnole is especially attractive.  Since two of the four CDs here are in the classical area I included the albums in this category.

TrackList =
Classic (CD 1):

La Venezuelana
Valse de Rio
Mazurka Appassionata
Petite suite Latine: Preludio, Sueno, Tango
Valse des Amants
Banales Histoire d’Amour
Mazurka No. 5 in G minor
Hommage to the tomb of Chopin
Nuits d’Espagne
Ballade de Diane
Choro de Saudade
Danse Paraguayenne: Preludes 1, 2, & 3
Capriochio Arabe
Recollections of the Alhambra

Django Side (CD 2):
Sweet Chorus
Diminusing Blackness
After You’ve Gone
Just a Gigolo
Artillerie Lourde
It Had to be You
Duke and Dukie
Fly Legend Melody
Swing Guitar
Douce Ambiance
Danse Norvégienne
Impro No. 4


Classic (CD 1):  
1 Sérénade mexicaine 2’47
2 Sérénade andalouse 2’14
3 Valse La Délicieuse 1’46
4 Valse de Marquay 1’91
Trois pièces Baroques
5 Aria 1’20
6 Sarabande 2’04
7 Passacaille 2’50
8 La Dame de Puymartin 2’02
9 Aria n°1 2’07
10 Ballade à la Dame de Monsereau 1’16
11 Valse la Belle Epoque 1’58
12 Guitare boléro 2’26
13 Ballade sous la neige 1’55
14 Mazurka n° 2 2’00
Suite Espagnole
15 Préambule 2’39
16 Rambla 1’28
17 Canción 2’12
18 Fiesta 1’47
19 Berceuse 2’51
20 Prélude 1 2’35
21 Prélude 2 2’22
Toutes compositions : Raphaël Faÿs

Gypsy & Flamenco CD:

1 Black Swing 3’08
2 Shannone 3’15
3 Captain Swing 2’11
4 Bossa Romina 3’10
5 Petit Boléro 2’57
6 Le Petit Foulli 2’10
7 Casa Ramon 3’40
8 Habanera 4’20
9 Ballade au bout du monde 4’44
10 Fandango (Los Arcos) 3’07
11 Primera Bulérias 3’54
12 Maître Paco Alégrias 3’28
13 Granaïna à Laruel 4’16
14 Bulérias Andalouse 3’45
15 Soléa à Manzanas 3’15
16 Improvisation Mi Mineur 5’05

— John Henry

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