November 30, 2009

DJANGO ALL THE WAY:

Album Review: A Hot Club Christmas: Elegant and entertaining (Joe Bendel, 11/30/09, Epoch Times)

Given his untimely death in 1953, there are many great jazz standards that Sinti jazz pioneer Django Reinhardt never had the chance to cover. He never had the occasion to record a set of Christmas carols either, leaving a void the Hot Club of San Francisco (HCSF) recently filled with Hot Club Cool Yule, a Christmas-themed release recorded in the swinging Roma-jazz style developed by Reinhardt during his tenure with French violinist Stéphane Grappelli in legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France.

The Hot Club Christmas starts on a distinctly hipsterish note with Cool Yule, a high-spirited Steve Allen ditty that was a minor hit for Louis Armstrong, performed with a cheerful playfulness fitting to the holidays. The HCSF then throw a real change-up, launching into Don Rodolfo, perhaps the most sophisticated version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer you will hear this season, recast in a romantic Latin mold, slyly blended with the Habañera from Bizet’s Carmen.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2009 6:29 PM
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