Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Le Jazz Hot

<---(Queen City Hot Club: Jim Stout [l], Jim McCuen [c], and Jared Volpe [r])

Two guitars and an upright bass. Sometimes a banjo or violin, occasionally a clarinet or a squeezebox.

But always a guitar, and ideally more than one.

"Hot Clubs" are a tradition that go back to the 1930s, with Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and the now-legendary group he founded with violinist St├ęphane Grappelli, the "Quintet Hot Club de France".

The sound is unmistakable, from the thrumming of the rhythm guitar to the swinging, soaring melody of the lead guitar over the top. Makes you wanna dance!

Cities all over the world have Hot Clubs in residence, from Berkeley to Boulder and Detroit to Austin's own "Hot Club of Cowtown".

And now the newest city to add to that list is Burlington, with the recent formation of the Queen City Hot Club. I caught their early afternoon show at Leunig's today and thoroughly enjoyed everything from the melodic, lilting Moonlight in Vermont and Lady Be Good to a very sassy version of All of Me. They had the place tapping toes, singing along, and dancing in their seats in the outdoor tent on Church St. Gypsy swing is one of my favorite jazz styles, it's nostalgic and fun and exciting all at the same time. What's not to love?

The Queen City Hot Club is Jim Stout (lead guitar), bassist Jim McCuen, and rhythm guitarist Jared Volpe. Jim Stout and his family moved here from NY City, and after a year of getting his footing and settling in, he's stepping back into the music scene with the new group - and how.

If you missed the Club today you can see them again this Saturday at 3 on the Fountain Stage (see our Jazz Fest map, in the righthand column) - I couldn't recommend it more highly!

(Also heard today, the Colchester High School Jazz Band channeling Chuck Mangione!)--->

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