Hot Club of Detroit: Django's Monkey
Hot Club of Detroit
Night Town (Mack Ave MAC 1041)
Carl Catagna (soprano sax), Evan Perri (lead guitar), Paul Brady (rhythm guitar), Julien Labro (accordion), Shannon Wade (bass).
Composed by Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli.
Recorded: Cleveland, OH, 2008
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
Dr. John meets Django in the 2008 release from Hot Club of Detroit. This Nawlins-flavored twist on "Django's Tiger" forswears the swing of the original Reinhardt-Grappelli session for a decidedly "Jock-A-Mo" bounce sprung from the Mardi Gras favorite "Iko Iko." Lead guitarist Evan Perri's competent jazz Manouche chops and Julien Labro's fluid accordion anchor the arrangement in the past, while Carl Catagna's soprano sax adds a contemporary flavor to the mix. So why am I not more excited over this track?
Those who want their Django straight up, raw and burning on the way down, may want to stick with the original. Perri's finely crafted lines flow smoothly enough; his guitar has a gorgeous tone and the ensemble sounds comfortable. That aside, I find myself wishing he had taken a few chances, and have to say I miss the reckless, free-for-all swing of Django's 1946 recording. With players such as these, the Hot Club of Detroit could afford to turn up the heat a bit.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes