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For its second album, the Hot Club Quartette continues exploring the music of the legendary Quartette du Hot Club de France, led by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. 2002's Volume 1 managed to evoke a sturdy presentation of that group. It consisted of originals and the songbook of Reinhardt & Grappelli, in addition to standards that were associated with the Hot Club.
These fourteen selections consist of the same combination of both ballads and swing tunes in about equal proportion. Guitarist Billy Steele contributes four originals and violinist Benny Brydern supplies two tunes. In addition, vocalist Marie MacGillis appears on "Don't Worry About Me" and cornetist Corey Gemme guests on "Woodinville."
Hayman-Green's "Out of Nowhere," S. Brooks' "Some of These Days" and the Bloom-Koehler tune "Don't Worry About Me" are all familiar tunes from the Hot Club de France songbook and are faithfully rendered here. Three Reinhardt-associated compositions, "Viper's Dream," "Douce Ambiance," and "Sweet Chorus," are also given an airing. Among the original tunes, "Rio Margarita" provides a solo guitar opportunity for Billy Steele.
Inasmuch as the Hot Club Quartette seeks to keep alive the spirit of a group which began in pre-war Europe, the success of this album cannot be measured by comparing Mssrs. Bryden and Steele to Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Rather, to the credit of the Los Angeles-based group, the gestalt of Volume 2 favorably compares to the work of other current organizations like the Rosenberg Brothers, Bireli Lagrene, and Hot Club de Norege in keeping the flame burning.
Track Listing: Ravello, Out Of Nowhere, Viper's Dream, Josette, Blues En Mineur, Don't Worry About Me, Someday, Rio Margarita, El Zopilote Majado, Douce Ambiance, Woodinville, Some of These Days, Sweet Chorus, Travel On.
Personnel: Billy Steele, guitar; Benny Brydern, violin, piano; Dave Jones, bass; Tom Marion, guitar, mandocello; Marie MacGillis,vocal(Don't Worry About Me); Corey Gemme, cornet (Woodinville).
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.