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Legnini, Eric: Six Strings Under

You may be wondering what a pianist is doing calling his latest album Six Strings Under? Respected French piano-man Eric Legnini’s motivation being firstly to celebrate an instrument which, while not his chosen mastery, he has a long admiration for - and to highlight a favourite TV programme of his: Six Feet Under. An unusual starting point and in truth neither intention really comes across all that blatantly on an album where guitarists Rocky Gresset and Hugo Lippi are still as often as not backing musicians to Legnini’s exquisite piano work. While there doesn’t seem to be any more nod to Six Feet Under than the borrowing of most of its name for the album title. Neither of those ‘issues’ are actually a complaint, the main man’s hopes of shining a light on guitar still strong enough to at least allow his two counterparts equal billing across the majority of this outing, although there are occasions when the guitar can’t be heard at all.

The band here is rounded out nicely by Thomas Bramerie, the bassist while not worried about where he falls in this ‘who’s on top’ equation, still integral in allowing his album mates the confidence to shine, especially when he isn’t at any point flanked by a drummer, or indeed a beat. Variety is high on the agenda, the dancing piano hand of “Breakfast At Dawn” swaying gently on its jazz base, whereas “Boda-Boda” plays more to this album’s guitar strengths through an energetically percussive tempo and the sharpness of its intent. “Daydreaming”, while still situated in the sparkling jazz piano sun, adds a more contemporary edge as it cuts a scintillating shape. Although the most rock based number on show - a stark, bare piano cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” - feels oddly out of place. Legnini has undoubtedly done a wonderful arrangement of this classic piece but for me it falls between the cracks of the stirring beauty of the original, or something that sounds more intrinsically linked with the overall vibe of this album, eclectic though that may be.

One of the most overtly six string sojourns comes via the constantly on the move dart of “Stompin’ At The Savoy” (which was composed by Edgar Sampson), with the energy with which it is attacked proving virtually irresistible. “The Drop”, while more piano focused is likewise in its intrigue and excitement, while the gently Latin pop and shuffle of “Night Birds” offers up yet another flavour from an album that seems to have a different intention depending on which track you delve into. In the end it makes for an engaging journey and one that, while hardly a guitar-athon, does certainly change focus from what might usually be most expected by Eric Legnini.

Track Listing
1. Boda Boda (A-Seite)
2. Doo We Doo
3. Breakfast At Dawn
4. Eterna Gioventu
5. Stompin' At The Savoy (B-Seite)
6. La Mangueira
7. Daydreaming
8. The Jive
9. Night Birds

Added: September 15th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eric Legnini online
Hits: 835
Language: english

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