Sep 22, 2012
Backyard Garden Concert!
Paul Mehling and the Hot Club of San Francisco
Sunday September 30 at 3:00pm
333 & 331 Union Street
$20 general / $15 seniors, students & kids
by reservation only: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be hosting the always swinging and immensely popular Hot Club of San Francisco for an afternoon backyard garden concert a week from sunday (September 30). Their Gypsy Jazz style is patterned after the playing of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and is always a joy to behold. They tore it up at Kuumbwa last month. Here's a chance to catch them in the most intimate and informal setting as you're likely to see!
Sep 14, 2012
Jazz guitarist, musician and educator Paul Mehling says "A metronome is your best friend," and he proves it on this hands-on, fun to use DVD lesson.
By spending a mere 10 - 15 minutes a day with this mechanical time-keeper, you will improve your practice sessions, gain a better understanding of rhythm, build speed, and develop a stronger sense of time. Above all, you’ll become a better musician, regardless of your chosen instrument.
Paul leads you through a series of basic rhythm exercises and games, clapping to various metronomic beats and then transferring them to an instrument (guitar and mandolin, in his case). He shows you how to sub-divide beats - quarter, 8th, 16th and triplets - using word associations to build confidence and competence in your rhythmic control. Throughout, you’ll be using the metronome as your guide and practice partner.
Whether you play bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz or classical, the use of the metronome will enhance your musical experience and help bring your playing to new levels.
The Hot Club of San Francisco has nothing left to prove. They are the premier American gypsy jazz band and rank among the very best in the world.
Paul, we love the new cd and I wanted to say that the violin in Syracruse made me cry the first time I heard it. Absolutely beautiful. We spoke with you when you were in Cedar Rapids, IA. My husband, Kurt, told you how he always thinks you guys show it like Django would of. You were the first gypsy jazz group we heard and we have been hooked ever since!
~~Nancy Otto Dopler
Reserve your tickets here now!
Jul 11, 2012
Hot Club of San Francisco
Live at Yoshis San Francisco
At Yoshis (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, July 11. at 8 & 10 p.m., $15. Yoshis.com
Who would have thought, 78 years after the Hot Club of France began sponsoring a quintet featuring gypsy jazz guitar phenomenon Django Reinhardt and the elegantly swinging violinist Stéphane Grappelli, that similar combos dedicated to this decidedly continental subgenre of jazz would continue to proliferate around the planet, from Toronto to Tokyo? Together nearly twenty years, the Hot Club of San Francisco is one of the finest of the contemporary purveyors. Guitar-picking leader Paul Mehling and violinist Evan Price emulate Reinhardt and Grappelli, but the quintet now sets itself apart from its model by also featuring a vocalist — something the original Hot Club never had, although Reinhardt occasionally backed singers, including the great Jean Sablon, on records.
With her bubbly alto tones and buoyant rhythm placements, vocalist Isabelle Fontaine brings a sense of joy to such standards as "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Cest Si Bon," "I Love Paris," and the Louis Prima favorite "Buona Sera" on the groups twelfth album. The grooves — anchored by Clint Bakers four-to-the-bar bass and rhythm guitarist Jeff Magidsons back-beat down strokes, around which Mehling weaves wondrous low-note fills and trebly trills — swing like theres no tomorrow. The fun being had by both band and audience is evident throughout this live recording, and it becomes especially pronounced when Baker switches to trumpet and guests join in on soprano sax and tuba for a polyphonic second-line treatment of Edith Piafs "Milord." (Azica)
Jun 30, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Le Jazz Hot Swings at Speisekammer in Alameda
|Grainy cell phone shot of Mehling, Rocha, Fontaine (L-R)|
Its Friday evening. After a week of work (or, in this case, searching diligently all day for it), I needed to hear some good music. I found that the Speisekammer Restaurant was featuring Le Jazz Hot, a quartet or trio version of the famous Hot Club of San Francisco, with no cover, so there I went.
When I arrived, the place, which sprawls south and west, was full in the main bar area, so I stood and listened until I located a seat at the bar. The musicians had started a little before I arrived. It was the trio playing tonight, and I saw three familiar faces playing French Gypsy Jazz that Id researched in advance online.
Paul Mehling is the leader and founder, and "godfather of American gypsy jazz." Inspired by many artists, but none more than the great Django Reinhardt, he plays the guitar like nobody Ive ever heard, his fingers flying across the fingerboard while he seems to be effortlessly watching his hands.The man is a true marvel, and gave us many fine solos throughout the evening.
Isabelle Fontaine sang beautifully while keeping the rhythm that this kind of music requires of a non-soloing guitar. There is no drummer in this kind of trio--but who needed one? Isabelle grew up in France with the sounds of Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, and Yves Montand. She spent decades playing music of the 1950s in France. Lucky for us, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area now, where we who live here can enjoy her lively and also subtle performance.
Young Sam Rocha, a native Californian, has been playing serious bass since the age of 16, having won contests, scholarships, and much acclaim and appreciation. This evening he was playing a bass strung with old-fashioned gut strings and set up much like one would be in the 1930s--when this style of performing was the norm. His hands moved over the large fingerboard of the bass with ease, and he got lots of solos to show off his chops.
A special treat was the lovely Varese, who came up and sang in each set for a few numbers, bringing to life the blues style of Bessie Smith and other artists of early to mid-20th century jazz. Standing up to the old-fashioned mike, she evoked the mood of those heady days. She sings gigs on her own, but likes to join Le Jazz Hot when they are performing locally. The audience enjoyed her immensely.
Many of the songs were not familiar to me, but all were enjoyable. I recall hearing What is This Thing Called Love, which Isabella sang in a way very different from the Frank Sinatra version with which I am most familiar. She also sang a version of La Vie en Rose as an encore which would have made Edith Piaf proud.
Theres something wonderful about the intimacy of a small venue, with minimal amplification, good quality beer on tap (I sampled both of the dark German beers, which arrived sequentially in their own specially shaped glass steins). The folks sitting at the bar seemed to have met before, so it had the feeling of a casual but special restaurant and a neighborhood bar at the same time. Some day Ill have to come earlier and sample the German cuisine.
the Hot Club of SF returns to YOSHIS San Francisco for their CD Release Party July 11, this show will sell out (reservations recommended!)
Jun 26, 2012
The Hot Club of San Francisco CD Release Party @ Yoshis SF -where we recorded the CD!
8:00 show, reservations recommended!
The pilot episode, “The Chronicles of Neptune,” follows genius gypsy jazz guitarist Neptune, as he is forced to sell marijuana to survive in New York City. The series is a love letter to New York, Brooklyn, Jazz fanatics, Jazz greats, live music lovers, bands, musicians, lovers of stoner comedies, and marijuana enthusiasts. About the series: San Francisco and Brooklyn based writer/director Cameron Washington (High School Ripped Me A New One) helms this project starring Ashley Springer (Teeth, Dare) as the jazz guitar virtuoso Neptune. The series follows Neptune as he explores the jazz and music worlds in in New York, while immersing himself into the weed subculture of the five boroughs. Blend three parts comedy, two parts jazz history, and mix in the the city of New York, and you have Sex Drugs and Jazz.