Django a la Creole

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Manufactured and distributed by Frémeaux & Associés

chosen in the SUNDAY TIMES top 100 CDs of 2008

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The Observer UK
04.05.2008 – Django à la Créole
As ‘fusion’ projects go, this looks a bit unlikely at first glance. Fiery European Gypsy jazz and the limpid Creole clarinet style of New Orleans may not seem like natural bedfellows, but the result is enchanting. Clarinettist Evan Christopher has been winning awards since the age of 11. His tone is gorgeously light and fluffy and he creates sparkling improvisations, while guitarists Dave Blenkhorn and Dave Kelbie and bassist Sebastien Girardot supply spirited accompaniment. Django Reinhardt’s tunes have rarely been more sensitively played, and old warhorses like ‘Farewell Blues’ sound fresh and new.

The Times UK
04.05.2008 – Django à la Créole
It’s only a matter of months ago that the thirtysomething New Orleans clarinet revivalist Evan Christopher set out his wares on Delta Bound. His latest outing turns out to be an equally confident mixture of Crescent City passion and je ne sais quoi. Christopher possesses a ravishing tone and receives unfailingly crisp support from the double-bassist Sebastien Girardot and guitarists Dave Blenkhorn and Dave Kelbie. Even that old Reinhardt standby Nuages sounds fresh, the rhythm section dancing a gentle beguine in the background. And Christopher shifts gear into Benny Goodmanesque swing on the ultra-brisk I Know That You Know. Timeless stuff.

Wall Street Journal USA
13.09.2008 – Django à la Créole
Clarinetist Evan Christopher, a California native, moved to New Orleans in 1994. In his frequent duets with Tom McDermott, and as a standout member of trumpeter Irvin Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, his erudite and personalized approach to traditional jazz commands attention. After Katrina, Mr. Christopher relocated to Paris for two years. There, he formed two new bands: Django à la Créole, featured on this CD, revisits the storied Hot Club band co-founded by guitarist Django Reinhardt, distilling and emphasizing that music’s New Orleans elements. Mr. Christopher draws particular inspiration from Mr. Reinhardt’s work with clarinetists, including Ellington sideman and New Orleans native Barney Bigard.

Beginning with the habanera beat dancing beneath “Douce Ambience,” the bass and rhythm guitar of Mr. Christopher’s drummerless quartet announce a strong rhythmic emphasis. But it’s Mr. Christopher’s finely calibrated control — his fluid lines, piercing high notes, and exquisite quiver of vibrato — and his rapport with the equally expressive guitarist Dave Blenkhorn that steal the show. This is repertory music of the best kind: informed by sincere study, yet never derivative; playful, more so than reverent; aimed at extending, not rehashing, a legacy.

  1. Wild Man Blues Evan Christopher Fapy Lafterin Quartet 5:35
  2. Echoes of Spring Three Blind Mice 3:58
  3. Someday You'll Be Sorry Tcha Limberger Trio With Mozes Rosenberg 5:07