Saturday, November 6, 2021

Gary Lucas @ Sunset/Sunside, Paris - November 6th, 2021

Journeyman guitarist Gary Lucas is celebrating forty years of a multifaceted career at one of Paris' premier jazz clubs. It is quite a privilege to hear him play and regale us with stories in such a setting. Accompanied   by five high-caliber musicians hailing from extremely diverse musical and geographical horizons, the evening was an exquisite blend of jazz, blues, classical and contemporary avant garde.

But despite the breadth of his influences, and the fact that the setlist spanned all aspects of his impressive career, Gary Lucas' sound is primarily informed by the Blues, the foundation for all American sounds and musical mythology. Sure, it may be dressed in psychedelic guises but at its core, at its essence, it's the Blues that resonate in Lucas' microtonal explorations of traditional Jewish music, in the otherworldly intervals of his interpretation of Eastern European gypsy punk, in the dissonant cacophony of his work with Captain Beefheart or in his grandiose, elegiac compositions for Jeff Buckley.

While the musicians were all fantastic, the real treat was when Gary Lucas was performing by himself, playing angular motifs over his own guitar loops, just a man connecting with his reverent audience, taking the small but fervent gathering of admirers on a trip around the world from the comfort of their seat.

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