Hot Club USA: Django Lives

Headed by Uruguayan violinist Federico Britas and guitarist Frank Vignola, this tribute group also features guitarist Eric Bogart, bassist Phil Flanagan, and guest percussionists Joe Ascione and Tootie.

Virtually unknown outside of his homeland, 58-year-old Britas swings hard and does justice to Grappelli’s memory even as he works in his own flexible phrases (“I Found a New Baby,” “Djangology,” “Shine”). Vignola, well known for his work as one of the Concord label’s stable of guitarists, conjures the spirit of Django Reinhardt while taking rhythmic approaches quite unlike that of the typical gypsy guitar slinger (“Honeysuckle Rose,” “Stompin’ at Decca”), although some of the disc’s single-note work is a bit lackluster at times. While most of the program’s material is taken from the Reinhardt/Grappelli songbook, the group’s overall sound gets an updated lift from tunes like “One Note Samba” and Britas’ “New York Candombe,” both of which also feature percussion. Nice from beginning to end.