Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jazz Face: Pierre Blanchard, Gypsy Jazz All-Star

Pierre Blanchard at the Dakota Jazz Club, November 19, 2012
© Andrea Canter

Dorado Schmitt and Ludovic Beier
The band is billed as Dorado Schmitt’s Gypsy Jazz All-Stars, but an equal amount of glory and virtuosity belongs to his long-standing partner, violinist Pierre Blanchard. Together they revive Reinhardt and Grappelli, augmented by the energy and wide-ranging sonics of accordionist Ludovic Beier. (At the Dakota last week, Beier introduced many of us to the accordina—a hybrid harmonica/accordion that sounds like… both.)  Although mostly suggesting time travel to the Paris of the 20s and 30s,  Schmitt and Blanchard’s “Caravan” offered a unique and exotic blend of time and place.