Cheek to Cheek
Impromptu is a quintet of musicians based in Tampa, Florida which formed in 2003 using the genius of Django Reinhardt as an inspirational tool for improvising. Unplugged and unpretentious, Impromptu prefers it's jazz with a twist of age, and goes back to a time when jazz was fashionably refined. The group consists of Larry Camp, Nikola Baltic (guitars),Eugene Bazhanov (violin), Fikret Ibrisovic (button accordian) and Greg Wickstrom (up-right bass). Impromptu shares an affinity for Django's style and recognizes his dominance as a jazz musician between the two World Wars. Born in Belgium in 1910, Django grew up in Basque Gypsy camps around France, where he learned to play six-string banjo. When he was 18, his caravan caught fire, and Django's left hand was severely burned. The injury forced him to develop and original style of fingering that he applied to the six-string guitar. At the height of his powers in the late 1930s and '40s, Django was considered the finest musician on European soil. He hit his stride with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, and all string quintet that included pioneering violinist Stephane Grappelli. Impromptu follows the Gypsy jazz tradition and uses this as a spring board to explore other genres while maitaining the Django vibe. Guitar and violin are the main voices-as opposed to piano, trumpet or saxophone-and a rhythm guitar serves as the percussion by using a technique known as 'la pompe.' The live experience of Gypsy jazz has all the power, fire and freedom of Be-Bop to Bossa Nova. Also, it is known and admired thoughout the world by people of varied backgrounds who, through their own personal voyage of discovery, have come to share a unique joy found in the music of Gypsy jazz.