“It’s Like The Guitar Has Been Given Free Reign To Play Itself!”
If you're not already familiar with him, Pierre Bensusan is recognized as one of the greatest guitar players of the 21st century, playing his own “World Music,” a fusion of traditional, contemporary, jazz, classical, and pop music, making him one of the most eloquent World Music musicians of our time.
After releasing Azwan, an album about our oneness and interconnectivity in the midst of a unifying global crisis, French-Algerian guitarist, vocalist and composer Pierre Bensusan returns to the USA, a country he has played for over 40 years. (His second home after Paris.)
When Michael Hedges titles one of his compositions “Bensusan,” you know the inspiration behind must be special and Pierre Bensusan certainly is. Guitarists from Leo Kottke to Larry Corryel, to Tuck Andres, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark Knopfler, Julian Lage, Andy Timmons, to Steve Lukather have sung his praises. Steve Vai released three Bensusan albums on his label Favored Nations. And it's not just guitarists who are so inspired by Pierre's music, as a recent studio collaboration on Donny Osmond’s latest album Start Again goes to show.
Pierre Bensusan is an adventurer of unusual lands. His almost “sacred” music is an intimate and orchestral hymn, a solo crossing on a multi-shell Lowden Northern-Irish guitar subjected to the natural elements: sound molecules and finger pulp on an ebony fingerboard for open tuning, an unique and transparent technique, under the fingers of an adventurous pilgrim.
Big emotion guaranteed!
“I've seen Alfred Brendel, Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Barenboim, Lynn Harrell, Nureyev, Placido Domingo, etc., etc., perform magnificently. Tonight, in the last half of the second set, Pierre Bensusan went a quantum beyond the warm, compelling, appealing, extremely accomplished guitarist whose recordings and performances I've eagerly sought for over 30 years. He's achieved the sublime – decades of technique, creativity, intuition, passion, and intensity crashed together – a man transformed, singular, stunning. I have so seldom had the privilege and pure animal joy of experiencing this caliber of artistry.” – Rain Crow (a fan)
“For me, Pierre can only justly be compared to someone of the stature of Keith Jarrett, so total is his mastery of the solo instrument, his dazzling harmony, his many innovations, and his deft command of counterpoint, the jazz idiom, folk expression, and all genres between and beyond. An entire history unfolds as he plays. But really, like Jarrett, the emotional depth – and this is where true artistry often likes to live – of many of his songs and compositions is all, well, breathtaking. With only his steel-string acoustic guitar – and sometimes his rich, affecting voice – Mr Bensusan can disassemble your heart and hand it back to you restored and renewed. As he did to mine tonight. A true giant.” James Volpe Rotondi (editor at Guitar Player Magazine)