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Hot Club Quartette by Hot Club Quartette

The Hot Club Quartette comprised of four musiciansfrom the Los Angeles area, performing what they refer to as 30s swing music. The group covers many somewhat obscure songs from the era, and adds someoriginal music. Producer, Songwriter, and guitar player Billy Steele appearsto head up this cast of very talented musicians.

With a description like "30s swing" I was curious whatto expect from a quartet. What Iended up hearing was what I would best describe as a mid-tempo New Orleans jazzgroup, with a bit of a Spanish influence. Wehave a group of stringed instruments, played with the type of feel you may findin the southern bayou with a Tijuana influence.

Many of the 14 tracks are based around acoustic guitar,bass, and violin. "Bouncin’Around", "I’ve Found A New Baby", and "Ultra Fox" are all tunes thatare well arranged using this instrumentation. Many have an almost Dixieland feel (without the clarinet and trumpet). The original tracks tend to feature the talents of Billy Steele; howeverthis isn’t surprising considering he wrote the pieces. Especially appealing is his guitar piece "Novia". On the quartet’s version of Irving Berlin’s "Russian Lullaby",they have the only vocal on the entire disc. Janet Klein brings a very pristine vocal to the song. My only complaint is that it may be a bit too perfect. The quartet ends the CD with a nice arrangement of the Cole Porter tune"What Is This Thing Called Love?" Introon the bass adds some groove, and the song then takes on the mid-tempo swingfamiliar with this disc. Aninteresting choice to end the disc, and it left me with an appreciation of thetalents shown here.

This CD would be a welcome addition to anyone interestedthe small café swing music from the 30s era. The sparse instrumentation is handled well.

The Hot Club Quartette does a nice job of capturingthe style they are seeking. Thismay not be for everyone, but I would not hesitate to put this disc on and enjoya nice bottle of wine or a cappuccino. Nice job guys.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Hot Club Quartette
  • CD Title: Hot Club Quartette
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Stringtone Productions
  • Tracks: Bouncin Around; I've Found A New Baby; Si Tu Savais; Dreams; Billet Deux; I'll See You In My Dreams; Ballo Di Mezzanotte; Novia; Blue Drag; Shanghai Lil; Ultra Fox; Russian Lullaby; Margy; What Is This Thing Called Love?'
  • Musicians: Billy Steele - Guitar; Benny Brydern - Violin; Dave Jones - Bass; Tom Marion; Guitar, Mandolin, Banjon; Special Guests
  • Rating: Four Stars
Tim Hamm

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