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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Hot Club Of Detroit

By Chris Heim
Published April 24, 2007

Hot Club Of Detroit
Mack Avenue

From heady brass bands like Fanfare Ciocarlia to nuevo flamenco groups like the Gipsy Kings, we have Django Reinhardt to thank for all the gypsy-derived music around these days, though the famed guitarist’s influence is so wide that it’s almost incalculable. Today his fusion of jazz, gypsy music and French bal-musette continues to inspire—as a growing number of “Djangofests” and newly emerging players affirm. Hot Club Of Detroit pays homage to its hero with a half dozen Reinhardt compositions and one from contemporary gypsy jazz guitarist Fapy Lafertin. But even when they move away from period pieces to numbers like Jobim’s “How Insensitive” or their 11-minute excursion through Nino Rota’s “Godfather Theme,” it’s Django’s vision—strong rhythms, sweet melodies and high spirits—that prevails. HCOD captures the essence of the gypsy jazz sound on this debut, and even those who don’t consider themselves jazz fans should find the result appealing.