Hot Club of Cowtown
Rendezvous in Rhythm
Gold Strike
Street: 05.28
Hot Club of Cowtown = Squirrel Nut Zippers + Gonzalo Bergara + The Lucky Stars
So many jazz bands use “Hot Club” in their name, a nod to the original Quintette du Hot Club de France. In the case of Hot Club of Cowtown, I can imagine they use the “Hot Club” name because they earned it, especially on this record. They’ve been knocking out inspired country—and folk—flavored jazz since ’96, and Rendezvous in Rhythm is the trio taking on gypsy jazz and American songbook standards. Even though Elana James (fiddle) and Whit Smith (guitar) are doing their best Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli routine, it’s really Jake Erwin’s upright-bass playing that shines through. He somehow is able to be the only percussive element and still contribute to the melody of each track. This record may not have as far of a reach as their country-influenced work, but jazz fans are going to love it. –James Orme