In June, every Tuesday night there is an event called Jazz in June featuring national and local artists in a beautiful outdoor concert setting. About five years ago, one of the featured artists was John Jorgenson and his quintet. He is one of the pioneers of the gypsy jazz movement, which is derived in large part from the music of Django Reinhardt who played at the Hot Club in pre-World War II Paris.
Django invented an entirely new guitar fingering system due to the fact that his left hand was badly burned in a fire that permanently curled his fourth and fifth fingers toward the palm. He could use them on the first two strings for chords and octaves, but his amazing solos ere performed with only his index and middle finger. Check out a film clip of him sometime. He was amazing and I’ve included one of his recordings below.
John Jorgenson picked up his gypsy style and plays it like no other. He has blazing speed and a great sense of melody. He was the guitarist with Elton John for 6 years and has a resume full of all-star musicians such as Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, Benny Goodman, Sting and Billy Joel. Great listening to kick off the weekend!
Ghost Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Tm5Ikl1AXw
Lime house Blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzcHF_LF620&feature=related
With Tommy Emmanuel-Avalon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XK-wzrLpNo
With tommy Emmanuel-Nuages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOHq--XDFyM&feature=related
Back on Terra Firma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzF9FDIcz3w&feature=related
Solo Acoustic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baZsQtIiFa4&feature=related
El Camino del Che: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_54qMRYd5UU&feature=related
In Memory of Danny Gatton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIdbcaI6PTY&feature=related
Viper’s Dream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60VCkKtrw0k&feature=related
FA Swing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrJ7fVBk_lg&feature=related
Django Reinhardt (Selmer Guitar) @ the Hot Club of Paris -The Sheik of Araby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6jwvS0mHwo&feature=related
With a fantastic guitarist like John, I’m recommending Seventy-Five winery’s 2008 The Sum. The inaugural vintage of The Sum is a cabernet based blended red wine created by Tuck Beckstoffer who’s family is widely considered to be one of the most famous grape growing family in the Napa Valley.
This is an amazing rich red wine that must be smelled and tasted to be believed. The color is a deep purple garnet and the nose gives off soaring and wonderfully focused aromas of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, cherries, cedar, blackberries, and cinnamon. In the mouth, there are layers upon layers of broad, sweet opulent fruit balanced by firm tannins, great acidity and oak. The wine is so big, it’s almost sweet. A wonderful compliment to the music of John Jorgensen. Enjoy!