The opening song on this new album from the venerable Swiss group Hot Strings says a lot about this band and the sense of humor of its leader, guitarist Fere Scheidegger: Delicatessen kicks off with a Gypsy jazz version of Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman” that is pure rock blues as Django might have played it.
But from this wild beginning, the band gets back into a more traditional groove. Swing and Gypsy jazz standards are interspersed with a wealth of originals, adding up to another solid outing from the group.
Hot Strings has been joined here by several guest musicians, which round out the sound. Accordion, piano, and drums on some tracks build a broader tone that comes through especially strong on the Fleetwood Mac tune.
Hot Strings has remained one of the most consistent string jazz bands on the scene since its first album, Douce Ambiance, was released in 1990. Happily, that album – which may be the band’s masterpiece – was re-released recently in the U.S. by Jazzology Records.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.