Hot Club Of Detroit gives the city a taste of gypsy jazz tunes
If there’s one band that’s taking forward the gypsy jazz made famous by Belgian-born French guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1930s,it’s the Hot Club Of Detroit (HCOD). The other being their Bay Area counterpart in America — The Hot Club Of San Francisco. Both of them take their names after Reinhardt’s music group, The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and revere the sounds made timeless by him and violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
And to stay true to the Hot Club of France’s brand of music, the four-member HCOD, founded by guitarist Evan Perri,doesn’t feature a drummer. “It’s so much easier to travel without a drummer,” quips accordion player, Julien Labro, quickly switching to the technical side of things, “In our ensemble, one of the two guitarists take on the role of the drummer by carrying on the rhythm and providing the pulse. It’s a demanding job, especially at the crazy fast tempo we sometimes end up playing at.”
Ask him about their USP, and he credits it to their unique instrumentation, involving the use of accordion, as well original compositions that are “far more jazzier” than the regular gypsy jazz works.
The band from the Motor City of Detroit is travelling to Bengaluru this weekend to give you a taste of their music. Labro shares what to expect, “It will be a mix of jazz, swing, and a lot of improvisations at breakneck pace. The set list includes compositions by Reinhardt, and some originals. The ballads, however, are very melancholic, but they provide a nice contrast to the up-tempo tunes.”
On his first visit to India, Labro is hoping to get a “crash course” in Carnatic music. He loves this genre, and its unique rhythmic approach. “I’ve enjoyed listening to the great Ravi Shankar, and AR Rahman’s Bollywood music,” he adds.
HCOD has four albums under its belt, and is gearing up to record another. Meanwhile, Labro is working on a classical duet project with Grammy Award winning guitarist, Jason Vieaux.
June 10-12. At Windmills Craftworks. Tickets (`500 upwards) on windmillscraftworks.com
— Barkha Kumari