Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
13th cd and better than ever
on July 4, 2012
RELEASED BY AZICA RECORDS AND NAXOS OF AMERICA
For their 13th CD and their 3rd on Azica Records, The Hot Club of San Francisco
continues to push their limits. Having tackled classical and holiday repertoire on their
previous Azica releases, HCSF now shows what sensitive accompanists they can be
by building an entire album around their delightful chanteuse, Isabelle Fontaine. The
CD faithfully documents one outstanding live performance from October 25, 2011, at
the group's hometown jazz landmark, Yoshi's San Francisco.
Responding to the numerous requests for "more" whenever Fontaine sings with the
HCSF, the making of an all-vocal CD was an obvious move for the instrumental
ensemble in their 22nd year of bringing gypsy swing back to the country where jazz
was born. Says Hot Club founder, Paul Mehling, "In over twenty years we've never
featured a singer. We just hadn't found the RIGHT singer...until now."
No stranger to the HCSF, Ms. Fontaine is usually one of the group's two rhythm
guitarists, sharing that responsibility with veteran rhythm machine, Jeff Magidson. But
for this outing, she steps up to the microphone while Jeff holds down the rhythm chair,
buoying the ensemble with the help of bassist and multi-instrumentalist, Clint Baker,
who also gets to shine on trumpet and trombone on a few numbers.
Two-time GRAMMY®-winning violinist, Evan Price, is stellar as always throughout the
performance with his effortless inventions, sparkling wit and gorgeous tone while
leader, Paul Mehling's solo guitar blazes through the tunes with the urgency of a
tornado, bringing thrills, mystery, romance and sheer fun.
And then there's the repertoire: a thoughtful selection from must-haves like Cole
Porter's "I Love Paris" and the Billie Holiday classic, "What A Little Moonlight Can Do",
to little-known gems like Henri Salvador's "Syracuse", each highlighting yet another
facet of the multi-talented and multilingual Fontaine. Again in the words of Paul
Mehling, "Isabelle can SWING with the best of 'em, evoke all of her great
predecessors, and share enough of herself in these eleven songs to have you
yearning for more."