Back in 1930s Paris, the Hot Club de France kept music fans jumping and dance floors filled to their intricate and lively brand of gypsy jazz.
In 21st century Detroit, the fans are jumpin' and the dance floors are filled, too-- this time to the sound of the Hot Club of Detroit, an electrifying and visionary ensemble that takes the traditions pioneered by Django Reinhardt and company and spins them in a way that's both reverent and refreshingly contemporary.
As guitarist and group leader Evan Perri explains, We want to spread the music and keep the gypsy spirit alive. But we're from Detroit. We're not gypsies in a caravan in France. Our influences come from stuff we grew up listening to here in Detroit. We're not trying to live in the shadow of the Rosenberg Trio or Birelli LeGrane. We just want to make music that's true to the spirit of Django but that's also true to ourselves.
The first recorded document of that philosophy is Hot Club of Detroit, a 13-song collection recorded in just three days and brimming with the energy and focus of a band honed to truly hot form thanks to a full schedule of live shows and to the fiery chops of the six musicians who play on the disc. The repertoire is also a testament to their breadth and stylistic facility. The album certainly has its share of Reinhardt favorites Nuages, Belleville, Stompin' at Decca, Anouman--but it also includes selections by Fapy Lafertin (Aurore), Wes Montgomery (Leila), Antonio Carlos Jobim (How Insensitive) and Fats Waller (Honeysuckle Rose), as well as two Perri originals--Swing One and a variation on the theme from The Godfather.