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CD Review: DIGDIG
Digdig - Rene Lacaille and Bob Brozman
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Rene Lacaille & Bob Brozman

By BOB TARTE



Bob Brozman is a true ambassador of the Hawaiian slide guitar, island hopping from Martinique to Okinawa to collaborate with other top musicians little known outside their own countries. His fluid and occasionally witty steel guitar finds its perfect foil in the hyperactive rhythms of René Lacaille, a guitarist, accordionist, singer, and composer from the Indian Ocean island of Reunion. Lacaille alternates between tropical Gallic pop suggestive of a steamy cabaret and fiercely energetic homegrown dances that percolate with African influences. Among the liveliest pieces are the instrumentals that comprise about half of the disc, and these mingle the inevitable island-trader-route cross currents as suggested by the high-speed, high-octane mix of Arabic modalities and homegrown sega rhythms on "An Dio." Brozman and Lacaille exchange and mingle licks as briskly as the beat of a hummingbird's wings. The rhythms rise from a lickety-split local 12-beat foundation, which Brozman says alters the hearing of a song depending on your count--either via two-pulse or three-pulse units. Good luck keeping track, but in the gleeful delirium you probably won't bother counting. Lacaille plays South American charango guitar on some of the tracks, while a backing acoustic band adds furious percussion. As Brozman proved on two collaborations with Okinawan singer Takashi Hirayasu, his lush slide guitar sounds perfect in any milieu, and once again he and his collaborator have carved out a brave new genre.

Bob Brozman - King of the National Guitar


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