Nguyen Le

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Deze in Frankrijk geboren gitaarvirtuoos van Vietnamese afkomst weet zijn eigen Oosterse en andere rootsmuziek goed te combineren met fusion, jazz en improvisatie.

French Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê

Born 01/14/1959 in Paris of Vietnamese parents, he began to play drums at the age of 15, then took up guitar & electric bass. After graduating in Visual Arts, he majored in Philosophy, writing a thesis on Exoticism. Then he devoted himself to music, creating "ULTRAMARINE" (1983), a multi-ethnic band whose CD "DÃ" was considered "1989's best World Music album" (Philippe Conrath, Libération.)Nguyên Lê is a self-taught musician with a wide scope of interests: rock & funk (Jim Cuomo, Madagascar tour 84), jazz standards & contemporary music (Yves Robert), electronic music (Andre Almuro, Tona Scherchen), ethnic music projects include African & Caribbean with ULTRAMARINE, Algerian with Safy Boutella, Indian with Kakoli, and Vietnamese with his "Dan Bau" (traditional one-stringed instrument) teacher Truong Tang.In September 1987 he was chosen by musical director Antoine Hervé to play with the O. N. J. (French National Jazz Orchestra). With this big band, he played with such musicians as Johnny Griffin, Louis Sclavis, Didier Lockwood, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Courtney Pine, Steve Lacy, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gil Evans, and Quincy Jones.In Sepember 1989, he recorded ULTRAMARINE's 2nd album "DÃ", and in May 1990, his first album as a leader, "MIRACLES", recorded in the U.S.A. with Art Lande, Marc Johnson & Peter Erskine. At the same time he works with such musicians as Michel Portal, Miroslav Vitous, Trilok Gurtu, J. F. Jenny Clarke, Aldo Romano, Daniel Humair, Dewey Redman, Andy Emler, Jon Christensen, Nana Vasconcelos, Paolo Fresu ...In May 1992, after a month tour with Paul McCandless on winds, Art Lande (p), Dean Johnson (b) & Joel Allouche (d), he recorded his 2nd album, "ZANZIBAR".Since January 1993, he has been a frequent guest soloist with Köln's WDR Big Band, especially with composer / conductor Vince Mendoza. Nguyên Lê plays on three of his projects: "JAZZPANA", "SKETCHES" with Dave Liebman, Charlie Mariano and Peter Erskine, & "DOWNTOWN", with Russell Ferrante. In April 1994 he was invited to be the soloist of "The New Yorker", a suite written & directed by Bob Brookmeyer, with Dieter Ilg (b) & Danny Gottlieb (d). With these two musicians, he set up his new trio, and recorded his CD, "Million Waves" in December 94. Michel Contat, from Télérama writes about this CD: "This trio brings him to some musical spaces which he had not even imagined, & which are pure poetry."In 1995 Nguyên Lê recorded "Tales from Viêt-Nam", a special project of Vietnamese music, with a 8-piece band combining jazz & traditional musicians. In the meantime, he played in trio with Michell Benita (b) and Peter Erskine, recorded on Michel Portal's new album with Ralph Towner (g), and worked with Ornette Coleman on one of his contemporary music pieces, "Freedom Statue". In June 95, he was invited by the WDR Big Band to play on "Azure Moon" with the YELLOW JACKETS and Vince Mendoza. In July 95, the Stuttgart Festival invited him to be one of the guitarists to celebrate the "Universe of Jimi Hendrix". Other participants included Trilok Gurtu, Terry Bozzio, Cassandra Wilson, Jack Bruce, Vernon Reid, David Torn, Victor Bailey, Pharaoh Sanders .... In Germany he worked with John McLaughlin & Markus Stockhausen.In January 1997 Nguyên Lê recorded his album "Three Trios". It features the guitarist in three different settings including bassists Marc Johnson, Dieter Ilg and Renaud Garcia-Fons and drummers Peter Erskine, Danny Gottlieb and Mino Cinelu. Following the release of "Three Trios" Nguyên Lê toured in the USA, winning great critical acclaim for his concert in New York's legendary Birdland. In the fall of 1997 he joined Paolo Fresu's highly acclaimed new quartet. Together they recorded "Angel".As early as 1992, Nguyên Lê had been working on projects with the Algerian singer Safy Boutella. 1997 the Franco-Vietnamese guitarist followed these traces deeper into the Maghreb. On "Meli Meli", Cheb Mami's most recent album (with Khaled, Algeria's most popular singer), Nguyên Lê not only played guitar, he also produced some of the songs. Finally, in early 1998 he asked Cheb Mami's drummer Karim Ziad to introduce him to the world of the Berbers and popular Algerian music. Once again he brought together a multicultural band with the Serbian pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Austrian saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnig, Italian jazz musicians Paolo Fresu and Stefano Di Battista, the Berbersingers of B'net Houariyat, Cheb Mami himself, and two friends out of Lê's Vietnamese project; Huong Thanh and Hao Nhien. With them he recorded "Maghreb and Friends".