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DJOYS OF DJANGO: Avalon Jazz Band: Je Suis Swing, The Hot Club of San Francisco: John, Paul George & Django
by George W. Harris • January 5, 2017 • 0 Comments
The irresistible gypsy sounds developed by Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli are still alive and well, able to puree any song and style. Here are a couple new examples.

The Avalon Jazz Band includes Tatiana Eva-Maria/voc, Adrien Chevalier/v, Olli Soikkeli-Vinny Raniolo/g, Evan Arnzen/cl, Brandi Disterheft/b and Albert Behar/acc. Together, they deliver Left Bank two beat reads of classics such as “Rosetta” and “Coquette” with Eva-Marie’s sweet vocals sounding delightfully bouncy. Raniolo is a master at this style, and he delivers a hot solo on the title track, and swoons with Chevalier on ”Clair de Lune.” The whole team varooms like a train on “Stompin’ at Decca” while the clarinet and accordion add extra bohemia throughout. This one’s a keeper. Who’s wearing the beret?

The Hot Club of San Francisco comes up with the brilliant idea of taking songs from The Beatles and throwing them into a gypsy caravan. Paul Mehling/g-voc, Evan Price/v, Sam Rocha/b, Isabellle Fontain/g and Jordan Samuels/g make perfect sense of “All My Lovin’” and “Don’t Bother Me.” Some of the tunes simply add extra flavor for a mood that was hinted at in the original versions, such as “ Michelle,” “I Will” and “Julia,” while some eyebrows are raised on a glorious rubato intro on ”Because” and “You Can’t Do That.” Even “Yellow Submarine” gets a voice in the action; this album is a hoot, and a guarantee that even the most devout fan of the Fab Four is gonna be stumped on a couple of them.