Local Reviews: Hot Club of Zion

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Hot Club of Zion
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: 08.17
Hot Club of Zion = Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli + Pokey Lafarge
I swear, when I bring up the topic of jazz music, most people’s eyes glaze over as if I’m trying to talk elevator music or something. I know most people think they know what jazz is, but most do not. Case in point: Hot Club of Zion is one of the best jazz trios around. They play a gypsy style of jazz, and even though the mention of the genre brings to mind the great Django Reinhardt, they still maintain their own identity while paying proper homage. Hot Club of Zion let their playing do all the talking on eight out of nine tracks—the only tune with vocals is a particularly haunting version of the traditional folk-blues song “St. James Infirmary.” While I wouldn’t mind more vocals in the future, the playing on this record is top-notch—guitar and violin dance and intertwine over the top of pulsing, infectious bass lines. These cats play around Salt Lake pretty regularly, so don’t miss out. 

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