Philip Catherine plays Cole Porter

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COMPOSERS: Cole Porter
LABELS: Challenge
PERFORMER: Philip Catherine (guitar), Karel Boehlee (piano), Philippe Aerts (double bass), Martijn Vink (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: CHR 70166

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Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine is little-known in the UK, despite being born here, but in Franco-zone Europe it’s a different story. A national treasure in Belgium, he’s even had his picture on a postage stamp. Hailing from a tradition harking back to Django Reinhardt, Catherine was dubbed ‘Young Django’ by Charles Mingus and has played with the likes of Chet Baker, Oscar Peterson and Stéphane Grappelli. And this, his latest disc, gives a uniquely personal account of his favourite Cole Porter tunes.

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Setting out to let the music speak for itself, these standards – such as ‘Why Can’t You Behave?’ and Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love’ – do just that. Catherine brings out the nuances of each of these well-loved melodies and teases out bluesy motifs with pianist Boehlee and his spot-on rhythm section. It’s a breezy, dreamy collection that radiates Catherine’s trademark lyrical guitar style. Neil McKim