Pour Les Zazous
This is swinging acoustic jazz with an abundance of improvisation and virtuosity and a minimum of superficial exoticism. The accent here is probably more on the 'jazz' component than the 'Gypsy' component. Violinist Rob Thomas, (who is a violin instructor at the Berklee School of Music,) displays a wide range of influences in his solos; his warm tone and melodic fluidity are almost sax-like. Guitarist Marc Daine, (a NYC session veteran,) does a fine job of balancing melody with flash, while bassist Mike Weatherly combines a firm harmonic foundation with something rarely heard in 'Gypsy Jazz'-hot bass solos. Finally rhythm guitarist Glenn Tosto holds things together while managing to avoid any heavy handed 'chomping.' A word about the tunes-There are no remakes of the standard Django repertoire here. All 14 tunes are originals by guitarist Marc Daine. If they sound vaguely familiar it's because they were inspired by some of the great American song composers-notably Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichal. All in all these guys are not preservationists or purists; they are musicians playing music of an earlier time from a twenty-first century perspective.