Not your typical tribute disc. Not a tribute disc at all.
The beauty of Jazz is its honest universality. Jazz may be the only "art" where postmodernism, as a theory, can exist in a pure and unharmful form. If, as postmodern though dictates, the "text" in itself is meaningless and only the "group" consuming the text can give it relevance based on that group's unique experience, then music, Jazz in particular, serves as the only perfect vehicle. It is with this thought that I listened to Simone Guiducci's telescopic investigation of the great gypsy Django Reinhardt's largely folk-oriented compositions. Django's Jungle is one of those rare recordings where cultures and ideas collide, fusing into a wonderful new sound whose lineage is at once fresh and innovative and immediately identifiable.
Italian guitarist Guiducci serves as the focal point of a group that is as much a Klezmer/Polka band as a jazz combo. The music's temperament is Eastern European Folk strained through the art history of Italy. This disc is no rote regurgitation of anachronisms. It is music that is full of life and fun. American clarinetist Chris Speed and brassman Kyle Gregory join a European Union of musicians that includes a violinist and an accordionist. This significant assembly of instruments, Old World with a New World rhythm section gives this music all of the contrasts and contradictions to make it interesting and vital. This music is full of splendid performances and solos. Simone Guiducci's web Site is http://wwwfly.to/simoneguiducci.com .
Personnel: Simone Guiducci: Guitar; Chris Speed: Clarinet; Gianni Coscia: Accordion; Florin Niculescu: Violin; Salvatore Maiore: Acoustic Bass; Kyle Gregory: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Zeno De Rossi: Drums.