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Live at Yoshi's San Francisco ()


The Hot Club of San Francisco is one of many bands focusing on the legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, co-leaders of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and innovators of swinging Gypsy jazz. But the HCSF have never slavishly stuck to the repertoire of the band that inspired them, preferring to build upon it. Lead guitarist Paul Mehling is an impressive soloist in Django's style without copying him, while Evan Price (formerly with the Turtle Island String Quartet) is a swinging violinist who has developed his own sound. After opening with a rarely performed Reinhardt/Grappelli instrumental, "R-26," much of this engagement recorded at Yoshi's features Isabelle Fontaine, a swinging yet never showy vocalist with an easygoing style. Henri Salvador's "Syracuse" features Fontaine's soft vocal, beautifully accompanied by the band. Cole Porter is one of Fontaine's favorite composers, so she chose several of his standards for this set. She includes the oft-omitted verse to "Just One of Those Things" and a playful "I Love Paris," in which Price nearly steals the show with his imaginative violin solo. She even restores the luster to "C'est Si Bon," a song so often performed in a hackneyed manner that it wore out its welcome for a long time. Recommended. ~ Ken Dryden, Rovi Hide synopsis

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