Review: Exuberant jazz from the Hot Club of Detroit
by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune
There may be hope yet for the great city of Detroit.
If it can drive through bankruptcy proceedings the way one of its leading jazz ensembles powered through its first show Friday night at the Green Mill Jazz Club, there could be better times ahead….
But the Hot Club of Detroit pushes out at conventional definitions of gypsy jazz with edgy, original repertoire and an aggressive, hard-charging strategy for ensemble improvisation. Granted, the band’s rough-and-tumble character does not convey the elegance of Grappelli’s silken violin lines riding Reinhardt’s chugging guitar chords. Yet there are other pleasures to be derived from its decidedly brawnier style.
Read the full review here
Can’t wait to continue my collaboration with Spektral Quartet, we have some dates coming up this Summer & Fall and recording a CD in late September.
Posted by Austin Wulliman on Jul 17, 2013
I’ve never been the kind of musician (or music fan) who feels the need to be exclusive in my tastes. While it may surprise some of you who are more familiar with me writing about Haas or Carter, I’m just as likely to listen to Ke$ha or Chick Corea’s “My Spanish Heart” without the slightest tinge of irony.
If I spend too long playing strictly concert hall music, I get a bit itchy. I’m certainly listening to other stuff, like my recent obsession from an amazing super-group.
Rest of the post here
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.
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.
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
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
By Rebecca Ostriker
Marcel Khalifé had just finished his first song at Berklee Performance Center Saturday night when the aisles filled with late-coming fans. Khalifé, a celebrated oud master, singer, and composer, watched as ticket-holders roamed through the hall, groping in the dark to find and fill their seats. It went on and on, and Khalifé waited: dressed in black, elegant silver hair framed by a turquoise scarf, the picture of patience…
….Often the music’s mood offered a striking contrast to the words. For “The Violins,” a song of al-Andalus, or medieval Muslim Spain, Omar Guey’s rollicking, Gypsy-flavored violin and Julien Labro’s lively accordion set the pace for a clapping, singing crowd. It sounded like a party, but Darwish’s words were an elegy for a lost homeland: “The violins weep with the Gypsies heading for al-Andalus/ The violins cry over the Arabs departing al-Andalus.”
Read the full review here
By Mike Telin and Daniel Hathaway
Article on a recent interview with Jason Vieaux for Classical Cleveland, a weekly online journal, on how our Piazzolla project came to life. Access the interview here