jazz

Hot Club of San Francisco’s Meet Me in Paris: Whisked Away to the City of Lights

Venues & Businesses
John A. Logan College


Who: John A. Logan College Student Activities
What: Hot Club of San Francisco featuring Isabelle Fontaine presents Meet Me in Paris (jazz)
Where:
When: 2014-10-24
The Hot Club of San Francisco introduces romance and culture Friday, October 24 at John A. Logan Col
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The Hot Club of San Francisco introduces romance and culture Friday, October 24 at John A. Logan College. The group’s show, Meet Me in Paris, features singer Isabelle Fontaine, who will croon songs in three languages.

Bandleader Paul Mehling is known as the godfather of American Gypsy jazz. He became a fan of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France while he was in grammar school. He said from the time he was just one year old, he would sit in front of the stereo and listen to music.

“My father was a record collector,” he told Nightlife. “I grew up with the music of Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller, and all the swing-era bands.”

Mehling admits that being exposed to swing at a young age helped shape his musical tastes.

“To this day, I get a sense of déjà vu whenever I hear a song I heard back then,” he said.

The Hot Club of San Francisco (known as Le Jazz Hot when the group plays in their hometown) plays love songs and driving Gypsy-jazz tunes that were made famous in Paris by the Hot Club de France, Django Reinhardt, and Stéphane Grappelli during the twenties and thirties.

After the First World War, Paris became a gathering place for artists from all around the globe. The unique Gypsy jazz sound wove together the interwar cultures of those different geographies and fused them into something special.

Mehling produced the Hot Club of San Francisco’s first album, which was then released on the band’s own label. Since then, they have released nine more albums and developed numerous shows. In 2000, the Hot Club of San Francisco was the first American band invited to play the Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-Seine.

Though the Hot Club owes much to Gypsy jazz, “We have a swing-or-die approach to the music that’s distinctly American,” he said. “We’re trying to challenge the tendency to slavishly imitate Django’s style without watering down the Gypsy tradition or diluting the music. We bring out the visceral element of the music that Serge told me is so important. When I talk with Gypsy musicians, they say that they love what we do because they can tell we love the music. If people dig our music, when Gypsy bands come to America there will be an audience waiting to hear them.”

Using Paris as a backdrop for this touring show, Mehling said the band aims to transport its audience to the City of Lights. The show even includes vocals in Fontaine’s sweet, sultry voice in English, French, and Spanish to help the music create a European atmosphere.

“Paris has always been that place,” Mehling said. “It has always been that center of art, culture, and beauty. We want the audience to feel like they are there.”

When asked what is his favorite part of the show, Mehling said the answer varies from night to night.

“For me, it depends,” he said. “I like seeing which songs the audience responds to every night. It is always different, and that’s exciting.”

And that creates synergy, Mehling said.

“You feed off the energy,” he said. “You work to get that relationship with the audience with a give and take.”

For tickets, contact Logan’s Office of Student Activities at (618) 985-2828 ext. 8287 or visit <http://www.jalc.edu/activities>.

For more information, check out <http://www.hcsf.com>.

who: John A. Logan College Student Activities

what: Hot Club of San Francisco featuring Isabelle Fontaine presents Meet Me in Paris (jazz)

where: O’Neil Auditorium

when: Friday, October 24

New Arts Jazztet: Phil Brown’s CD Release Party

Venues & Businesses
Grotto, The
Newell House


Who: New Arts Jazztet featuring Phil Brown
What: jazz CD release party
Where:
When: 2014-10-16
Thinking you have one musical genre figured out can only prove that you have so much more to learn.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Thinking you have one musical genre figured out can only prove that you have so much more to learn.

“Jazz is over one-hundred years [old] now,” SIU music professor Phil Brown told Nightlife. “A lot of what people think of as jazz, or elevator jazz, is not the only kind of jazz.”

Brown and the New Arts Jazztet celebrate Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. at a CD release party featuring songs from their new record, Arkadia. The event will take place at the Grotto Lounge at the Newell House restaurant.

Arkadia is Brown’s fourth recording as leader. Brown said the album was recorded in 2012, and on the disc, the New Arts Jazztet performed ten original songs by Brown and one track by keyboardist Mel Goot.

“There’s straight swing, Latin, contemporary, all kinds... and a couple of them are even performed with a string quartet,” Brown said.

The Newell House gig comes a couple days after the national release on October 14, so copies will be available for purchase at the performance. Fans can also find the recording through Brown’s website at <http://AcalderaJazz.com>.

Brown writes about each of the album’s compositions in Arkadia’s liner notes. The title song is a reflection on a spiritual and idyllic existence, while “Neil’s Notion” honors one of Brown’s mentors, Neil Slater. “Amethyst Eyes” was written in memory of his cousin. “Demage,” pronounced de-Mah-jay, is about an endearing young boy Brown randomly met in Cairo, Illinois, set to a blend of jazz and rock. “In Black” laments the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Brown’s last recording, Bright Side, came out in 2009 and also featured the New Arts Jazztet, as did 2004’s Darkness Into Light. The group was formed in 1984 by several members of the School of Music faculty. Current members of the group include Dick Kelley on reeds, founding member Bob Allison on trumpet, Goot on piano, Isaac Lausell on guitar, Jimmy Beers on drums, and Brown on bass.

Brown came to SIU in 1991, where he currently works as professor of double bass and jazz studies as well as coordinator of the music-business program. Throughout his music career, Brown has collaborated with a number of well-known jazz and popular-music artists— his 2003 disc, Hope Street Saunter, featured guitarist Fareed Haque.

Brown encouraged people to come out and check out the interesting assortment of Arkadia’s sounds for themselves.

“People should come out and see us,” he said. “You will get to hear all the songs on the CD live and by the same performers on stage.”

who: New Arts Jazztet featuring Phil Brown

what: jazz CD release party

where: Newell House Grotto Lounge

when: Thursday, October 16

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Band Members
Mike Alderfer - bass, vocals - Mel Goot - keyboards, vocals - Tom Hensold - timbale kit, vocals - Larry Millard - congas, djembe, percussion - Lucy Perez - vocals, percussion - Buddy Rogers - saxes, flute - Stephen Santiago - guitars, trumpet, vocals
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