John Jorgenson Quintet,
(J2, 2007)

If you've heard a recording in the past 20 years, you've more than likely heard John Jorgenson play. Although he is perhaps not that well known as a solo artist, Jorgenson's playing has graced the records of Elton John, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Pavoratti and a host of others. He is probably best known as a member of the Desert Rose Band and the Hellecasters.

Jorgenson has a long-time love for the music of Django Rinehart, the French gypsy jazz guitarist whom he once played in a movie, and with his John Jorgenson Quintet, he explores the world of gypsy jazz, playing originals inspired by Rinehart's earlier recordings.

What's the result? Well, this stuff swings like crazy. The CD kicks off with the uptempo "El Camino Del Che," in which Jorgenson shows just how fast he can pick and how much excitement can be packed into a melody. It's a wonderful piece of work. On "Don't Worry About Me," he slows down to ballad playing, with a simple strummed 4/4 accompaniment and rhythmic fills that surround vocalist Beryl Davis's singing with an airy, feathery foundation. It's a gorgeous piece of work, as is all of this CD.

Want something stunning and original that you aren't likely to hear on today's radio but that should be played on every station? Try Ultraspontane.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

5 April 2008

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