Review: San Jose Jazz Festival delivers serious fun

By David Becker

Many other jazz festivals seem to encourage the musicians to act like brain surgeons, egging on their artistic sensibilities and treating the work as high art. Not the San Jose Jazz Festival, which just wound up its 25th annual blowout.

Hot Club of Detroit: At least something in the Motor City still works! One of the least doctrinaire of the many Django Reinhardt tribute bands circling the globe, this quartet takes a more pan-European approach to its mostly original songs, not least because the usual violin spot has been replaced by accordionist Julien Labro, who turned out to be the star of the show. Lead guitarist Paul Brady was no slouch, picking out evocative and incredibly nimble leads. But Labro’s solo turns were truly heroic. And when was the last time the words “jaw-dropping accordion solo” passed anyone’s lips at jazz show? Read the full review here


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


An Interesting Review from Recent Performance at the Jazz…

By Stewart Oksenhorn / The Aspen Times
Review: Why jazz actually ruled at the Jazz Aspen June Festival
JULY, 8 2011 

ASPEN — I don’t generally go to music festivals looking for any big-picture messages. I go to hear the music, to take photos, to commune with people. And yes, to eat. 

But sometimes, there is a message so apparent that it can’t be ignored. Such was the case with the recent Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival, and the message that was shoved in the face of festivalgoers was this: It’s the jazz, stupid!


Julien Labro & Paul Brady from HCOD on Wine…

By Jonathan Widran

Both Labro and Brady attribute their love of wine to spending key developmental years in France. Labro grew up in Rodez, near the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region (which boasts three times the combined area of vineyards in Bordeaux) and began learning about pairing food and wine from a tender age. “I got to live the pairings and learn how the right wine can enhance a dish and bring different flavors to the palate.”  Continue to read a longer extract of the article here