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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

CD Review: Hank Marvin - Django's Castle.

Hank Marvin (gtr); Nunzio Mondia (acc); Gary Taylor (gtr); Pete Jeavons (bs)* .
(Review by Lance).
The pattern for rock/pop artists, as they approach the September of their years, seems to be to record an album of standards. Conversely, those singers who've spent their life interpreting the GASbook, as the years catch up with them, turn to more contemporary material. Each group hoping to attract a new audience - it rarely works.
However, in the case of the legendary Hank Marvin this could be the exception that proves the rule! Guitarist, Marvin is frequently cited as the biggest influence on the early British rockers such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jeff Beck etc and the sound of The Shadows was unique in the pre Beatles/Stones era. As such, when his relatively recent [2002] passion for the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli emerged I sensed it would be no half-baked imitation but a sincere, and yet original, tribute to the grandmaster of gypsy jazz which I guess it is.
The tunes are all part of the familiar Hot Club repertoire - Swing 42, Minor Swing, Viper's Dream, After You've Gone, Coquette, Honeysuckle Rose etc. - and the treatment is respectful with Mondia's accordion offering a contrast to the thumping guitars of the originals.
Listening again to The Shadows Twenty Greatest Hits album it suddenly occurred to me that, had Django been born 30 years later, he could well have composed Apache, Foot Tapper etc!
Yes an enjoyable album but, with so many Gypsy Jazz ensembles scattered around the world from Tyneside to Tupelo, it may only be Marvin's name that sways the listener to choose it over the rest. Marvin, of course, was born in Newcastle and it is fitting that another band working the same side of the street - Djangologie - are also north east based.
Hank Marvin - Django's Castle is currently available on Mtm Music Pty Ltd.
*Robbie Pisano (bs on 2 tracks) Matt Willis (bs on 1 track.).
Lance.

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Quality will always show through in these circumstances. I have a copy of Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues (http://wyntonmarsalis.org/discography/title/wynton-marsalis-and-eric-clapton-play-the-blues). This is a great album with a very classy version of "Layla". There is a YouTube version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvNIivHdy0Q

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