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Audio CD, May 3, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

There is only a handful of guitar players who have taken the sound of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, and Bert Jansch to another level. Michael Hedges was one. Pierre Bensusan is another. The French guitarist was all the rage in the 1980s with his intricate finger-style picking, lush melodies, and influences that ranged from Ireland to India. Pianist George Winston sang his praises and Michael Hedges named a song after him. The buzz may have waned over the last 20 years, but Bensusan has only grown more impressive as a player. Altiplanos finds the guitarist in rare form with songs that are marvels of internal logic and whimsical digressions. He seems to be carrying on interior conversations, but he does it all with such technical ease and melodic grace that it never sounds contrived, however knotty it becomes. Bensusan is a willful individualist, which accounts for a couple of vocals sung in his slurry French and experiments in textural improvisation like "Sylva" (which sounds like a Grateful Dead space-jam outtake, only very short). But these are anomalies in a mostly solo acoustic guitar CD that may well be Pierre Bensusan's definitive guitar album. --John Diliberto

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Sentimentales Pyromaniaques 2:43$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Dame De Clevedon 5:13$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Sur Un Fil 1:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Altiplanos 5:10$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Demain Des L'aube 5:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Scarabee 5:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. If Only You Know 3:46$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Hymn 11 4:33$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Nefertari 3:59$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Sylva 2:30$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Nuit Des Meteores 4:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Falafel A Montsegur 7:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. Tacita 3:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen14. Chant De Nuit 2:27$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • ASIN: B00080EVL6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,881 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Treigh on December 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The description of Pierre Bensusan by John is a very accurate accounting of the works by this guitarist. John has a program on Public Radio called Echoes, where I first heard a selection from the album. I jotted it down, went online and purchased Altiplanos. I have not regretted it. This is a great album. It features tremendous guitar technique. It is also emminently a good listening experience. Many of the tunes are melodious, others are mesmerizing. Bensusan gets great sounds out of a guitar. His singing isn't bad. The liner notes are written in French with English translations. An interesting note is that Bensusan retunes the strings on his guitar for many of the tracks from the traditional EADGBE to DADGAD. Perhaps this explains his ability to play some of the chordal structures that he uses. I wonder how he remembers when the guitar is tuned one way or the other. It would make for interesting fingerings and quite an awareness of the different tuning. This album is predominately restful in character. If you like acoustic guitar, then this is an album that you NEED to have. It is a landmark of modern guitar music. If you are into New Age music for the relaxation, this is also a good album for you. It relaxes and energizes at the same time, as antithetical as that might sound. AND it does it without adding distracting nature sounds, just pure music. I have enjoyed this album immensely, have shared it with others and received postive responses from them as well. It is worth every penny I paid for it. I hope that you enjoy it as much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Quilty on September 19, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely love the instrumentals...the guitar work is brilliant. Unfortunately, he also adds his vocals to a couple of track and I frankly would have preferred he hadn't. As a whole though, I'd recommend this CD for those who appreciate really great guitar.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Mccully on February 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm always amazed at the depth of Pierre's playing, he even sings on a couple of tracks. I would highly recommend this CD to anyone and especially any guitar players interested in alternate tunings and fingerstyle guitar playing.
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