Deep Night

Everything old is new again (well, nearly everything) thanks to these savvy, intrepid local hepcats. Gaucho — no, not a Steely Dan cover combo — is a sextet consisting of acoustic guitarists David Ricketts and Michael Groh, accordionist Rob Reich, Ralph Carney on various wind instruments, bassist Ari Munkres, and drummer Pete Devine.

Deep Night is sixteen standards/chestnuts (mostly from the first half of the 20th century) played in the mode of Belgian Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt's Hot Club de France and their disciples the Hot Club of Cowtown and Hot Club of San Francisco. You'll likely notice a common thread: Hot, here denoting driving tempos, vigorously rhythmic, invigorating swing, and sultry melodies. Along with an assortment of expressive clarinets, Carney blows scorching sax in the boldly big-hearted manner of pre-bebop players Coleman Hawkins and Johnny Hodges, and growling trumpet à la Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington's brass section. Think the accordion is for squares? Reich's squeezebox is the thick, tangy mayonnaise that offsets the caliente generated by the rest. The guitarists — heck, the whole lot — play fabulously with not a single excess note.

This is jazz that wears its heart on its sleeve with plenty of Saturday savoir faire and swagger and straight from (and to) the heart of musicianship. In the a.m. or Deep Night, this'll chase the blues away posthaste. (Porto Franco Records)


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