D-Stringz is a collaborative jazz album with Stanley Clarke on bass, Biréli Lagrène on guitar and Jean-Luc Ponty on violin, and is an amazing mix of compositions by an even more amazing group of musicians. Released late in 2015, this is the first studio release that the three musicians have recorded together, making for a rare treat throughout the album.
Jean-Luc is a virtuoso, French violinist who specializes in jazz and fusion genres while Lagrène is a phenomenal jazz guitarist who has clear influences from Django Reinhardt. Clarke is a long established bass player in the jazz scene and sticks with the upright bass for the duration of the album. The entire album has a gypsy jazz feel to it. D-Stringz creates an acoustic, almost bluegrass, vibe with no drummer and the addition of a violinist.
The opening track, “Stretch,” sets the mood for the entire album with its acoustic thumping bass lines, intricate guitar chords, and complicated melody lines between the violinist and guitarist. During this track, the songs make you feel like you are in the jazz era of the early 1900s. “Nuages” has a bossa-nova feel to it and a nice swing, though no drummer can be found. Jean-Luc Ponty shows off his amazing chops and creates a great balance between the low, thumping bass lines and violin. D-Stringz is a great break from more traditional jazz and feels like a nice blast from the past.
Recommended If You Like: Return to Forever, Django Reinhardt, Mahavishnu Orchestra
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Stretch), 2 (To and Fro), 5 (Nuages), 7 (Blue Train)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Matt Weiman on 11/11/15