Review: R2 Rock’n’reel November-December 2012

BENOIT VIELLEFON HOT CLUB

 Live at the Quecumbar( buy/listen the album )

If good humoured crowd-pleasing, toe-tapping, happy-sounding entertainment brings you out in hives, better not give Benoit Viellefon’s Hot Club a miss for that’s what’s on offer on Live at the Quecumbar, from a sextet whose nostalgic music, Parisian musettes, and songs from the Great American Songbook.

The focus might be in giving the audience a jolly night out but the musicianship from the likes of the suave Viellefon himself,( guitar, vocals ), Dave Shulman, ( Clarinet, tenor ) and Peter Watson ( accordion ) is expert, with crisply effective ensemble playing and lively soloing, and the interpretations of songs such as ‘After You’ve Gone’, ‘Whispering’, ‘All of Me’, ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing’ and Flambée Montalbanaise’ are respectful and sincere.

Django Reinhardt’s ‘Minor’s Swing’ is played with pleasing verve and some originality; Benoit’s own compositions like ‘ More Money’ fit in seamlessly. Appropriately, the album was recorded using 1930s technology: two condenser microphones were positioned in front of the stage and there was no mixing.

Revor Hodgett

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