Drawing on the Hot Club style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, Hot Club Sandwich adds in classic Latin American, old-world European and other influences, including a bit of West Coast twang. The fourth release from the Seattle-based band -- "And If Only" -- takes listeners from the smoky cafes of Paris to the hipster backstreets of 1930s Harlem, careening along a winding musical road filled with yodeling cowboys, a band of Mexican violinists, and spirited Gypsy jazz guitar slingers.
The inspiration for trumpeter Chris Davis' new CD -- "Baile Bonita" -- comes from an old, fairly obscure album by Kenny Dorham which consisted of Dorham on trumpet and the great Ernie Henry on alto on the front line plus bass and drums. It was essentially a jam with a head-solos-head format. Davis' date utilizes this instrumentation in a very different way with complex ensemble passages, background riffs, and is much more orchestrated. The same instrumentation was used by Ornette Coleman in his first legendary quartet, but Davis' music is fresh and free like Coleman's but has a strong harmonic structure.
Also out with new music: Brazilian guitarist Sandro Albert, cited by Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip as one of the best young contemporary guitarists and an exquisite composer, unveils his latest quartet release, "Vertical"; saxophonist Eli Degibri is joined by Brad Mehldau, Ron Carter and Al Foster for "Israeli Song"; and young organist Jared Gold, who has plied his craft as a sideman with Randy Napoleon and Oliver Lake, offers up his third release as a leader, "Out of Line."