Hot Club of San Francisco
The Hot Club of San Francisco Goes Fab! The Venerable Gypsy Swing Combo Interprets the Beatles on the Gorgeous New Album HOT CLUB 30 YEARS - a compilation of our best tracks from our FIRST 30 years.
Hot Club of San Francisco, the nation’s longest running Gypsy jazz band, celebrates its three-decade milestone with the enthralling compilation album “Hot Club SF 30 Years” slated for release on Oct. 19, 2018.
Launched in 1989 by guitarist Paul Mehling, the Hot Club of San Francisco paved the way for the resurgence of Gypsy jazz in North America. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the HCSF is releasing a limited-edition CD gleaned from the band’s 14 albums. The collection features a disparate array of music that vividly illustrates why the HCSF has become a ubiquitous presence in American culture, heard in Hollywood films like the 2016 Kevin Cline and Maggie Smith comedy My Old Lady, and on numerous radio broadcasts and television commercials.
A startlingly diverse program, “30 Years” captures the band’s restlessly creative evolution with Hot Club arrangements of Thelonious Monk (“Round Midnight”) and French Impressionism (“Claire de Lune”), Brazilian roots music (“Choros”) and the Beatles (“Because”). Unmistakably inspired by the iconic Quintet of the Hot Club of France, the HCSF’s book is unbounded by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli’s repertoire and rhythmic palette.
“People think of Gypsy jazz and think swing, but when you look closely there’s not a lot of swing on this album,” Mehling says. “We specialize in the unexpected.”
Over the years the band has showcased an extraordinary cadre of string explorers who play Grappelli to Mehling’s Django, such as Jenny Scheinman, Jeremy Cohen, Olivier Manchon, and just about every violinist from Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet, including Darol Anger, David Balakrishnan, Mads Tolling, and the HCSF’s current string wizard, Evan Price.
The group’s reputation reaches across the Atlantic. In 2000, the HCSF became the first American band invited to play the Festival de Django Reinhardt in Samois-Sur-Seine, ground zero for the ongoing Django revival. For Mehling, the HCSF’s 30th anniversary is just the start of an unexpected adventure.
“I never thought I’d do this for three years let alone three decades,” Mehling says. “I feel freer and more able to do justice to a genre I have no business doing as a non-Gypsy. I’m very excited about next 10-20 years.”