Artist/s: Daniel Weltlinger (violin), Lulo Reinhardt (guitar), Christiano Gitano (guitar), Taylor Pauken (guitar), Jermaine Reinhardt (guitar), Romano Reinhardt (guitar), Harald Becher (bass), Winfried Schuld (accordion)
Category: Gypsy, Jazz, Music, World
Label: DMG (Germany), Rectify Records (Australia)
Reviewed by Peter Winkler
“It is no surprise that Daniel Weltlinger’s highly developed musicianship and beautifully warm violin tone are now in demand in international projects at the highest level.”
Daniel Weltlinger is the finest violin player of the gypsy jazz genre in Australia and maybe the world. It’s no wonder that after playing with virtually every Australian group in this and related genres he has moved to Europe to play with the best in the world including Lulo Reinhardt, the grand nephew of the great Django Reinhardt and heir to the brilliant guitar style that he pioneered. Let’s gild that lily further by saying that Lulo Reinhardt and Daniel Weltlinger are the Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli of the twenty first century. Their relationship both personal and musical reflects the groundbreaking partnership of the two trailblazing giants of gypsy jazz in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. I urge you to watch this four-minute documentary about Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and then read the liner notes of Weltlinger’s new CD to see the parallels.
Samoreau is the last in a trilogy of CDs released by Weltlinger dedicated to his passion for Gypsy Swing. The previous two releases, Souvenirs (2011) and Koblenz (2014), were both excellent. If anything Samoreau is even better. On this CD, Weltlinger’s virtuoso violin is accompanied by several members of the Reinhardt family on guitars, Harald Becher on bass and Winfried Schuld on accordion, giving the album a very authentic sound.
While there are plenty of virtuosic passages and improvisations on Samoreau, Weltlinger’s compositions capture the very whimsical essence of the style that Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli developed that so charmed the world at the time and continues to charm to this day. Sweet waltzes like Sur-Seine with a very Parisienne accordion by Winfried Schuld and The Family which begins as a waltz and jumps into some fast paced jazz, Les Enfants de Django featuring flashy guitar solos and virtuosic violin improvisations, the slow and very romantic Keith, a relaxed jazz lounge ambience of Waterlilies featuring fine piano work by Schuld, 3am Melun a piece set in a railway station very reminiscent of Astor Piazzolla and Ghosts, a very fast flash of brilliance from Weltlinger and guitarists that would work in a Disney cartoon chase, all make for a varied and entertaining exploration of contemporary composition in the Gypsy Jazz style. The album is bookended by solo violin pieces beginning with the mournful and pensive Alone and ending with the quirky pizzicato Samoureau.
Daniel Weltlinger is one of that very rare breed of musician who, while being classically trained and having impeccable technique, has crossed over into jazz, gypsy and world music which all require great improvisational skills. It is no surprise that Weltlinger’s highly developed musicianship and beautifully warm violin tone are now in demand in international projects at the highest level. Now that he’s completed his trilogy in loving homage to Django and Stephane I’m looking forward to him branching out into new adventures and uncharted territories.
Samoreau is slated for worldwide release on March 31. It will be available through Niwomusic, Rectify Records and Daniel Weltlinger’s website:
There are many excellent videos viewable at the website: http://danielweltlinger.com