Highlights from three previously released CDs were reissued for this single disc, all featuring the Hot Club de Norvège as the core group. The Hot Club, a quartet comprised of two guitars, bass, and a violinist who doubles on harmonica, has been one of Norway's top jazz groups since its formation in 1979. Although based in the Gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt, it does not merely re-create Reinhardt's earlier work but features many catchy originals from guitarist Jon Larsen, including the memorable "Femme Fatale." This program begins with seven numbers (four group pieces plus three brief solo guitar interludes that on a whole are known as "Jimmy's Suite") recorded in 1993 that showcase the remarkable guitarist Jimmy Rosenberg, who was just 13 at the time but already a brilliant player in the Django style. The next dozen numbers from 1995 match the Hot Club de Norvège with a flexible and swinging string quartet and guest Ulf Wakenius in top form as the guitar soloist. The final four selections have French guitarist Angel Debarre in the spotlight as the band's guest in 1991. With the Hot Club swinging away, this music (the collaboration with the string quartet is most memorable) is a constant delight.
Swinging with Vertavo, Angelo and Jimmy Review
by Scott Yanow