The Rosenberg Trio

Gipsy Swing

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The Rosenberg Trio has specialized in gypsy swing on their CDs, though they have been known to venture outside the traditional fare played by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. With Stochelo Rosenberg as the lead guitarist, Nous'che Rosenberg the rhythm guitarist and Nonnie Rosenberg the bassist, only five of the seventeen tracks feature the trio alone. "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is a lively opener, while "Cherokee" starts in a waltz-like setting before quickly picking up the tempo. One nice surprise is the inclusion of the infrequently played Reinhardt/Grappelli composition "Hungaria," while the intricate gypsy number "Latcheben" is a masterpiece. When additional musicians are added, the complete trio isn't always featured. Stochelo adds piano, bass, drums, vibes and percussion for an elegant rendition of John Lewis' "Django," while he is part of a nonet for a bossa nova setting of Toots Thielemans' "Bluesette." There are several excursions into pop, including a rather bland "Tequila," a generic easy listening take of "Theme From Mahogany" and a sleepy setting of "Rosemary's Baby" that may bore some of the group's fans. Better is the energetic setting of Chuck Mangione's "Children of Sanchez." The best selections remain the ones featuring the full trio (with or without guests), including the subtle take of "Begin the Beguine" that adds drums, vibes and percussion.

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