One Stolen Night

John Jorgenson Quintet

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One Stolen Night Review

by Rick Anderson

Guitarist, singer, reedman, and composer John Jorgenson deserves extra points for doing what very few Gypsy jazz musicians before him have had the creativity or guts to do: take Django Reinhardt's musical legacy and expand upon it rather than slavishly celebrating it by imitation. One Stolen Night is one of two discs he released in 2010 to mark Reinhardt's 100th birthday, and fittingly enough, it does not include a single Reinhardt composition: instead, it features an explicitly Django-esque minor-key burner ("Red on Red"), a gorgeously mournful clarinet showcase ("Souvenirs de Nos Peres"), and a ballad with a distinctly Middle Eastern flavor ("One Stolen Night") that connects this album to Jorgenson's other 2010 release, the orchestral Istiqbal Gathering. There are a few strange moments: "Slide Sister Slide" features a trombone part that gives the tune an unfortunate whiff of a 1970s sitcom soundtrack, and his original tango composition "Dark Romance" is a bit on the hackneyed side. But overall this is a powerfully impressive album from a jaw-droppingly versatile artist who has managed to take one of the most venerable jazz traditions and fashion from it something both completely personal and fully faithful to its roots.

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