Monday, July 2, 2012

Hot Club Of Detroit Junction Mack Avenue 2012

International Release 07/31/12
U.S. Release 08/14/12

Gypsy jazz...Hot Club Of Detroit.

Exciting, innovative and daring or a hot mess? Can you guess where I may be going with this?
With Junction, Hot Club Of Detroit has managed to take an eclectic if not intriguing sub genre of jazz into a new and totally different realm of creativity and finesse.

Gypsy jazz on steroids. Vibrant, rich and an organic orchestration of flavor and texture that has to be heard without interruption to be appreciated in the most appropriate context. Stunning...

There are some new additions to this critically acclaimed ensemble including the highly regarded bassist Shawn Conley and saxophone phenom Jon Irabagon. Some rather significant cameo appearances are made by vocalist Cyrille Aimee and saxophonist and clarinet master Andrew Bishop. For the unitiated, there are no drums here. None...And if I did not mention this fact you may not even miss them. An amazing hyrbid of the roots of the classic Django Reinhardt sound infused with a more modern twist consisting of a musical happy place between an Ornette Coleman and Pat Metheny which in turn creates perhaps one of if not the most versatile yet organically accessible jazz ensembles working today.

By no means does the Hot Club Of Detroit simply skate by doing their riff on classic Django, instead the Hot Club Of France is taken to their rightful evolution on the musical food chain and to a sublime level of artistic elegance that is rare in this over commericalized industry. Boundaries are not trancended here, they are smashed as the sonic glass ceiling is elevated to new heights. The original bassist Andrew Kratzat and his fiancee were both injured in an auto accident so the pressures behind this release are more than just simply units sold. Saxophone phenom and name to remember Jon Irabagon slays the opening tune "Goodbye Mr. Anderson." The compositional aspect of this recording goes deep but is well grounded and finely tuned especially with the nod to Peter Gabriel "Song For Gabriel" which highlights the incredible writing partnership between accordionist Julien Labro and lead guitarist Evan Perri. Pushing the more modern approach has a slightly Pat Metheny type riff happening with the title track "Junction." Cyrille Aimee's vocals on "Lonely Woman" which is a delightful Ornette Coleman piece with a lyric written by Margo Guryan are organic and free which simply add yet another gorgeous layer of creative texture to this captivating release.

There are several artists over the last year or two that have "experimented" with hybridization of various genres with the end result sounding like a musical scientific experiment gone horribly wrong.

Hot Club Of Detroit and Junction would be the artistic triumph so many are looking for but so few achieve.

5 Stars.

Tracks: Goodbye Mr. Anderson; Song For Gabriel; La Foule; Hey!; Chutzpah; Messe Gitane; Django Mort; Junction; Midnight In Detroit; Lonely Woman; Goodbye Mr. Shearing; Puck Bunny; Rift.

Personnel: Jon Irabagon: saxophones; Julien Labro: accordion/accordina; Evan Perri: acoustic/electric guitar; Paul Brady: rhythm guitar; Shawn Conley: bass; Cyrille Aimee: vocals (3,7,10); Andrew Bishop: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet (4,6,12).