Lulo Reinhardt review: Complex but accessible lesson from master players covers 1,100 years
Latin swing guitarist Lulo Reinhardt - first cousin twice removed of the legendary Django Reinhardt - began his Belfast Festival show last night with a history lesson about his Gypsy roots.
Covering 1,100 years and taking in Mongolia, India, Egypt, Persia, Armenia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland, the tale was almost as exotic as the music that followed.
Reinhardt and his four sidemen - playing violin, keyboards, double bass, drums - delivered an intoxicating set of swing, jazz, waltz, tango and funk, with luxuriant locks and dapper garb to match the sounds.
There may not have been any words to sing along to, but it was impossible not to tap your feet or nod your head, but that's only when you weren't marvelling at the virtuoso musicianship. It has been some time since so many master players gathered together on a Belfast stage, and this bunch of pros made it look easy.
Effortlessly switching between styles, moods and tempos, the music was complex, but infinitely accessible, a deft blend of of earthiness and otherworldliness.
At the fore was Reinhardt himself, whose combination of technically precise left hand and frantically strumming right was a sight to behold.