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Album Review

John Jorgenson still has difficulty shaking the image of being a country artist in the minds of some fans due to his tenure with the Desert Rose Band, even though he has worked extensively on his own since that group disbanded in the early '90s. But the guitarist has long been interested in the Gypsy swing of the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and has recorded several CDs in that genre that still likely end up placed in the country sections of record stores. This 2007 release features Jorgenson leading a different kind of group than Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli had with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, as he substitutes Stephan Dudash (on a five-string viola) and percussion in the place of a second rhythm guitarist. Most of Jorgenson's nine originals are very much in the Gypsy swing tradition and his mastery of his instrument is apparent throughout the date, with highlights including the engaging "Bossa Orpheum." Not everything is completely in the Gypsy swing mold; "Ultraspontane" has a Middle Eastern flavor, while the playful "G-Funk" adds the Nashville String Quartet to accompany the guitarist and bassist Charlie Chadwick. "La Journee des Tziganes" (which also adds the strings) also has a contemporary swing flavor, with hints of David Grisman. The one standard is a lightly swinging "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," which adds a warm vocal by Beryl Davis, while Jorgenson also interprets Reinhardt's "Improvisation No. 1" and "Improvisation No. 2" with finesse. John Jorgenson the jazz guitarist is obviously here to stay.

Customer Reviews

Sherbet Ice Cream of the Jazz Scene

When listening to John Jorgenson and his Quintet, you get the same sensation in your ears that you get in your mouth when you eat sherbet Ice-cream. Not only is it refreshing, it causes the muscles in the mouth to pucker into a smile. This album is a breath of fresh air and a well needed break from the mundane. 10 stars, no 11, no 1000.


I saw this guy like, three days ago (2/15/08) and it was the best show I have ever been to. I liked Django Reinhardt before, but he really taught me to appreciate the music. He plays so fast, he puts more than a few shredders to shame. It's like EVH but he's picking all the notes. I would fully recommend this album, it turned me on to a whole new kind of music.

great styles

heard some snippets from this album for the first time on NPR, love the mesh of styles, beautifully coherent and flowing, the fast pace and cheerful melody make this selection an extremely colorful variety. well done :)

Ultraspontane, John Jorgenson Quintet
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Customer Ratings