Jazz CD Reviews

Jacob Fischer Trio with Francesco Calli – Django – [TrackList follows] – Gateway Music:
Mayo Hubert, guitar – Caravan de Santino – (TrackList follows] – Fremaux & Associes

A pair of delightful new gypsy jazz CDs.

Published on October 19, 2012

Jacob Fischer Trio with Francesco Calli – Django – [TrackList follows] – Gateway Music: </br>   Mayo Hubert, guitar – Caravan de Santino – (TrackList follows]  – Fremaux & Associes

Jacob Fischer Trio with Francesco Calli – Django – [TrackList follows] – Gateway Music NCB JFCD11-3, [www.jacobfischer.dk/shop.html] 64:05 ****:

(Jacob Fischer, lead guitar; Francesco Cali, accordion; Hugo Rasmussen, bass; Regio Fehlandorf, guitar; Janos Templeton, drums)

Mayo Hubert, guitar – Caravan de Santino – [TrackList follows]  – Fremaux & Associes FS 572 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:

(Mayo Hubert, lead guitar; Laurent Maur, harmonica; Francko Mehrstein, rhythmic guitar; Gino Roman, doublebass & bass; Guests: Samson Schmitt, classical guitar on tr. 7; Duo Gino Haag on bonus track)

What an effective way to get a different sort of sound out of gypsy jazz without slavish imitation of the Hot Club of Paris! Jacob Fischer is a self-taught Danish guitarist, who comes out of the Svend Asmussen Quartet. HIs first inspirations were Django Reinhardt, B.B. King and Wes Montgomery. In addition to being among the Danish jazz elite, he’s played with Toots Thielemans, Art Farmer, John Abercrombie and Scott Hamilton.

This album has no notes but a list of selections and performers, but it’s a fine gypsy jazz ensemble built around Fischer’s guitar stylings and the swinging accordion of Francesco Calli. Not sure why it’s called a trio when it’s a quintet. The actual CD printed side has nice Reinhardt closeup artwork. I’ve got to like it personally, having two of my very favorite tunes in the world in it: John Lewis’ “Django” (and the CD’s title) and Rozsa’s theme from Fellini’s Amarcord. You’ll find several videos of Jacob Fischer in action on YouTube, including one that’s a guitar instructional video (but in Danish). (But watch out, a couple of them are unsqueezed anamorphic unless you display them full screen.)

Napolitana, Metabolic Age, Small Teardrop, Django, Sonho Carioca, Theme for Ernie, Frere Joseph, Retrato Em Branco e Preto, Accent Circonflexe, Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, Parisian Thoroughfare, Amarcord, Hugo;s Howl, Den Allersidste Dans, Huset Paa Christianshavn

Guitarist Mayo Hubert comes from eastern Frances and follows in the style of Samson Schmitt. This region’s style has a vigorous attack with light and clear phrasing, and it really swings. Tchavolo Schmitt was his teacher and Mayo accompanied him for seven years. Track 7 of the CD is partly a tribute to Tchavolo.  Using harmonicist Laurent Maur as a sideman was a genius step. He won the International Harmonica Competition in Trossingen with his chromatic harmonica playing. Eleven melodically-inspired original works comprise the album, so we’re not hearing a single Django re-do among them. Then for the bonus track Mayo does a duet with his 13-year-old son, and they play an almost unknown Reinhardt tune, “Le Soir.”  What a great conclusion to a delightful CD! You’ll find a lot more gypsy jazz recordings at the Fremaux & Associes web site.

Favieske, Rue des sapins, Gloria Forever, Chez Michel, Gina, Caravan de Santino, Feelings for Dorado & Tchavolo, One Way’s, Majo Swing, Ballade des la nuit, Bossa Dorna, Le soir.

—John Henry

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