HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO
Inspired by the original Hot Club de France that featured gypsy guitar legend Django Reinhardt and iconic swing violinist Stephane Grappelli, Hot Club of San Francisco pays sparkling tribute to pre-war gypsy jazz. Anchored by guitarist/bandleader Paul Mehling, Hot Club of San Francisco are vanguards of the ongoing gypsy swing revival, as they were the first American band invited to play France’s storied Festival de Jazz Django Reinhardt in Samois-Sur-Seine.
The band’s first album was produced by Mehling and put out on the band’s own label in 1993. Since then, they’ve put out nine more fine albums of gypsy-flavored jazz including Lady in Red, Swing This and Postcards from Gypsyland which includes tangos, waltzes and sparkling Mehling originals. Critics have noted that the music of Mehling and the HCSF owes as much to 52nd Street as gypsy jazz, a characterization Mehling doesn’t dispute. “We have a swing or die approach to the music that’s distinctly American. We’re trying to challenge the tendency to slavishly imitate Django’s style, without watering down the gypsy tradition or diluting the music.”
Sophisticated with a sentimental quality, gypsy jazz is growing around the world. Aficionados everywhere are forming bands and HCSF was instrumental in popularizing this growing movement, as their inspired and sizzling live performances can well attest.
“The spirit of Django Reinhardt is very much alive over a half century after his death,
thanks in part to The Hot Club of San Francisco.”
– All Music Guide