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New Arrangement of Oblivion for Curtis on Tour

Watch the beautiful performance here

Nadir Khashimov, violin
Jason Vieaux, guitar
John-Henry Crawford, cello
Performed on Sunday, January 27, 2013
Gould Rehearsal Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia

 

Throughout his career, Argentine composer and bandoneón virtuoso Ástor Piazzolla redefined the traditional tango with his new style of composition known as nuevo tango, which incorporate elements of classical and jazz. Among his prolific output, Oblivion remains one of his most popular works. Composed in 1982 for chamber ensemble, the piece has seen numerous arrangements and transcriptions over the years.  In this arrangement for guitar, violin, and cello by Julien Labro, an already hauntingly beautiful piece is made even more intimate.

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Review: The Hot Club of Detroit @ the Van…

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Some music just needs to be seen in a small space. For instance, even though Troy Savings Bank Music Hall was acoustically perfect for Hot Club of San Francisco, both the band and the music seemed “too small for the room” during their appearance last year. In comparison, Hot Club of Detroit’s show at the Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge last Friday night (February 1) was not just perfectly wonderful – it was also perfectly scaled. Maybe the Van Dyck’s concert space is a loft instead of a basement, and it may also be a non-smoking environment, but a band and its sound has never seemed more at home.

Here is the full review

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JazzTimes Interviews Julien Labro: Accordion & the Hot Club…

Gigi Brooks interviews accordionist and composer about his instrument of choice, the Hot Club of Detroit and the music of Django Reinhardt

Accordionist and composer Julien Labro and member of the band Hot Club of Detroit, spent some time talking with me about his life and music career and his rare choice of instrument—the accordion.

Labro shares the band’s desire to pay tribute to the late, great European jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt in their latest release on Mack Avenue Records, Junction. The album also features the avant-garde sound of Ornette Coleman, blended with the acoustic grooves of Pat Metheny. The sound is bold and modern as he explains in our interview.

Follow the link for the full interview: Jazz Columns: Julien Labro: Accordion & the Hot Club Tradition – By Gigi Brooks — Jazz Articles.

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Who would have expected the accordion to sound so…

Here is a review from our concert in Winnipeg with Hot Club of Detroit, Chris Smith from the Winnipeg Free Press had some really nice comments.

The Hot Club of Detroit is a tight, tight band that swings like crazy through its brand of Gypsy jazz paying tribute to the great guitarist Django Reinhardt. The five-piece band — rhythm and lead guitars, bass, accordion and tenor sax — was augmented by the great Brooklyn-based French singer Cyrille Aimée in its shows as part of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances series.

From the get-go, lead guitarist Evan Perri and rhythm guitarist Paul Brady were locked into a groove that drove the band through two great sets Saturday afternoon, the first of two concerts that day. That familiar driving force that marked Reinhardt’s style was both a vehicle unto itself and the basis for an afternoon and great ensemble and solo work along with bassist Shawn Conley, accordion player Julien Labro and saxophonist Jon Irabagon.

…Labro plays the chromatic accordion with the style and verve of a rock musician…Read the full review here

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Recent Review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer

Concert Review: Praise for Fresh Ways with Vieaux and Labro

by 

Rounds of praise are due a brand new duo that made its Boston debut last night at The Roxbury Latin School. Guitarist Jason Vieaux and accordionist Julien Labro each revealed remarkable levels of individual artistry, and the chemistry between them openly and fully communicated. These along with other elements conspired to bring about that ideal situation where we find ourselves completely engaged, where we find ourselves not just being shown the way, but discover ourselves being a very part of learning along the way. Vieaux and Labro are Artists-in-Residence at Roxbury Latin.

Both Vieaux and Labro refreshed the often staid concert stage with uncommon graciousness, the kind of which comes from an unassuming nature both rare and welcome. Their amply appreciating their listeners as much as their making music together sets the duo’s mien apart from today’s common classical practices of performance. They love what they do and the audience finds itself very much a part of that joy. Labro’s way of putting it last night: “we are thankful to be playing before a small and intimate crowd who knows how to listen.”

Read the entire review here

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New CD “Junction” released on Mack Avenue Records

Following up It’s About That Time, Nighttown and the eponymous 2006 debut—Hot Club of Detroit expands its sonic and compositional horizons with Junction. Retaining its original lineup of reeds, two guitars, accordion, upright bass and no drums, this is the band’s fourth release for Mack Avenue Records. Read more here

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Preview of Labro’s appearance with Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Brazilian jazz, Mussorgsky on DSO bill

By Lawrence B. Johnson

Exotic Brazilian jazz in a lush symphonic setting awaits patrons of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s third annual weekend of outdoor concerts at the Edsel and Eleanore Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Friday night’s Brazilian fare gives way Saturday to a classical program featuring Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony and works by Bizet, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky. Both concerts will be conducted by Carolyn Kuan, music director of the Hartford (Conn.) Symphony…..

Sharing Friday’s solo spotlight will be Julien Labro, a French-born Detroiter and master of the accordion-like bandoneon. Metro jazz buffs know Labro, a graduate of Wayne State University, as co-leader of the Django Reinhardt-inspired Hot Club of Detroit.

Labro says he got hooked on the bandoneon the first time he heard the instrument as a boy in France…..

Read the full Detroit News article here

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Labro featured on Grammy-award winning vocalist Cassandra Wilson’s Another…

Genre defying vocalist Cassandra Wilson’s latest album, Another Country, represents a strong departure from her previous material focusing largely on guitar-oriented sounds. To foster this new musical direction she again collaborated with jazz guitarist/producer Fabrizio Sotti, with whom she worked with on 2002’s Glamoured.

The two started from scratch in Wilson’s New Orleans home studio composing arrangements and an entire album’s worth of material by combining her lyrics with Sotti’s guitar-centric instrumentation. Sotti says “She is a total and complete musician/artist not just an outstanding voice/instrument.” Wilson and Sotti moved the sessions to Florence, Italy where they sought to keep the recordings spare by working with a minimalist band. The group includes Mino Cinelu on percussion, accordion master Julien Labro, Italian bass player Nicola Sorato and African master percussionist Lekan Babalola which rounded out the album’s sound.

Continue reading and buy here

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Milonga Loca! by Austin Wulliman

Just a few short weeks ago, we Spektrals had the amazing experience of playing with the multi-talented Julien Labro in a set of tangos by Astor Piazzolla.  From word “go” at rehearsal, it was obvious that we were dealing with a musician with an intense and vibrant energy.  We started with the languid and yearning “Asleep” from Piazzolla’s “Five Tango Sensations”.   Julien’s opening phrase seemed to stretch on and on in an unending breath inward on the bandoneon.

After that, we tackled “Fear” from the same suite, and things got interesting.  In the final moments of the fugue-like dance, the quartet was doing a whipped release from a long note.  I was playing it loose in rehearsal…apparently far too loose, since the tip of my bow snagged the far corner of my instrument and pulled part of the top of my instrument off!  After a bit of a break to deal with that dilemma, we only had more fun playing together.  The tunes fell together naturally and we had a fantastic time in performance.

Link to this blog entry and Spektral Quartet

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