The Hot Club : Samois Faire

Drawing inspiration from Gypsy-swing icon Django Reinhardt, guitarist George Cole’s Berkeley, Calif. crew has a jolly good time on this debut release. The band plays an entirely original repertoire arranged in a folksy 1930s style, with Cole and violinist Kathy Sierra adding modest, “gee whiz” vocals to roughly half the tracks. The vocal numbers evoke Squirrel Nut Zippers more than Django, but on instrumentals the group taps into and extends the Gypsy-jazz tradition with dexterous picking, rich harmonies and infectious goodwill.