Hot Club of Detroit
featuring Cyrille Aimee
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 8:00 PM EST
Iridium, New York, NY
HOT CLUB OF DETROIT Featuring CYRILLE AIMEE
* CYRILLE WILL NOT BE SINGING ON THE 10PM SHOW ON JAN 23RD
Following up It's About That Time, Nighttown and the eponymous 2006 debut Hot Club of Detroit—Hot Club of Detroit expands its sonic and compositional horizons with Junction. Retaining its original lineup of reeds, two guitars, accordion, upright bass and no drums, this is the band’s fourth release for Mack Avenue Records. There are personnel changes, however, and for the first time, the Hot Club of Detroit is joined (on three tracks) by a vocalist: French musician Cyrille Aimée, a native of Django Reinhardt’s hometown and third-place winner of the
2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition.
Junction’s sound is at once vintage and boldly new, rooted in the legacy of Django Reinhardt but also the sensibilities of Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, John Zorn and even the rock band Phish. Far from a traditional
gypsy jazz ensemble, Hot Club of Detroit (HCOD) proves itself a versatile modern jazz group, with a unique acoustic-electric sound that surges past expectations and genre boundaries.
“A lot of bands that model themselves after the Hot Club of France are now working with drummers, or percussion of some sort,” says HCOD rhythm guitarist Paul Brady. “We never have. And by doing that it forces us to think
creatively about what we can do without it. How can we approach odd meter, how can we approach certain grooves? Regardless of what a drummer can add, that absence to me is interesting and different.”
Unfortunately, Junction comes at a difficult time. HCOD bassist Andrew Kratzat and his fiancée were both seriously injured in an auto accident in July 2011, and are currently on a long road to recovery. “This album is a dedication to both of them,” declares Brady. “It's been tough for us, musically but also emotionally,” adds HCOD accordionist Julien Labro. “Andrew is like a brother, a family member. But we're still hopeful, and one day I'm sure he'll be back to playing.”
Honoring Kratzat's example, bassist Shawn Conley brings stellar musicianship to Junction. Another new face is saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition and
member of the acclaimed punk-jazz quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Michigan native Andrew Bishop, also on reeds, makes appearances on three tracks, increasing the band's power and timbral variation. (Family obligations required Carl Cafagna, the group's original saxophonist, to step aside.)
Irabagon is assertive from the start, contributing his own “Goodbye Mr. Anderson” as the album opener. (The title comes from The Matrix, the chords to an extent from Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” and John Coltrane.) The writing partnership of Labro and lead guitarist Evan Perri is also central to the album's sound. From their rich creative exchange comes the flowing soprano sax/accordina melody of “Song For Gabriel” (named for pop legend Peter Gabriel); the Pat Metheny-esque 6/8 time of “Junction”; and the French-style waltz “Midnight in Detroit” (a parallel to Stephane Wrembel's “Midnight in Paris,” used in the Woody Allen film). “The openings of ‘Song For Gabriel,’