Hot Club de Norvège

Parisian Honeymoon Suite

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These days, a lot of jazz musicians avoid being sentimental -- they're too busy trying to impress you with how much technique they have or how intellectual they can be. But when Django Reinhardt was making his mark in the 1930s and 1940s, romantic and sentimental weren't things to be avoided. The Belgian-born gypsy guitarist had no problem playing fast or swinging aggressively, but when he slowed down the tempo, Reinhardt wasn't afraid to savor his sentimental side. Dominated by the Hot Club de Norvège, Parisian Honeymoon Suite often becomes a celebration of Reinhardt's more romantic work. Some of the material is fast, but for the most part, the retro-swing that you hear on this CD is laid-back and sentimental. The main attraction is the Hot Club de Norvège -- whose name is Norwegian for Hot Club of Norway -- although Parisian Honeymoon Suite also contains some Reinhardt-minded gypsy jazz by guitarist Jimmy Rosenberg (a member of the group Sinti) and the European combo Sonnekai. The performances aren't the least bit innovative; all of them were recorded in the 1990s but recall Reinhardt's 1930s and 1940s output. But not everything has to be innovative or groundbreaking. Parisian Honeymoon Suite is consistently derivative, but it's also consistently pleasing.

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