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Bernard Benoit - Lutunn Noz CD (album) cover


Bernard Benoit


Prog Folk

3.02 | 4 ratings

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4 stars I have the impression that "Lutunn Noz" is the most highly regarded work of BERNARD BENOIT's career, based on its relatively early appearance, availability, and internet "hits" relative to his many other releases. While "Guitare Celtique" from several years earlier was a promising first cut at sculpting acoustic guitar as a lead instrument in traditional styled performances, this sophomore effort permits the less timid participation of bombarde and pipes which serve to ignite the arrangements. Not surprisingly, while Benoit's peerless picking hath its own charms the highlights here are the tunes in which accompanist Philippe Le Balp attains equal footing.

At times "Lutunn Tuz" seems content to be relegated to the background, especially on the first few cuts, but the lively "Fidandoue kernevad" changes all that with its vivacious accordion passages and leads into the miraculous "Jenovefa rustefan", with one of the most heartwarming melodies I have heard from Brittany. Benoit weaves some flamenco stylings before bombarde assumes the mantle, a pattern we see throughout the disk. The title cut is enhanced by Benoit's vocalizations, as is "Theme de la folle de Toujane" by those of Jenika Gaelle, whose highs, while more subdued, approximate those of a contemporaneous ANNIE HASLAM. "L'Heritiere de keroulaz" begins with delicate plucking by BENOIT, sounding as much like harp as guitar, carrying well into the latter half before the bombarde falls in and hoists the already stately tune to its climax. The album closer possesses all the delicacy of ALAN STIVELL's early "Renaissance of the Celtic Harp" and matches it for atmospherics as well.

This is a gentle, dignified and timeless album that can be appreciated on multiple levels, but don't expect it to club you over the head and drag you to its lair. It's more of a sultrily wholesome companion for a cherished quiet Friday night.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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