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Live at Yoshi’s San Francisco: The Hot Club of San Francisco

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When you’ve been celebrating the legacy of the Quintette du Hot Club de France for as long as these West Coast ensembles have, and as successfully, the question invariably becomes, what’s next? As you might expect, recruiting guitarist Martin Taylor as a guest artist pays off handsomely for Pearl Django.

On Eleven, the quintet’s eleventh album, the British virtuoso turns up on three tracks, including two of his own compositions: “Rue de Dinan,” a delightfully evocative reminder of his love for Brittany; and “Serafina,” a minor-key ballad that’s as soulful as it is lyrical. Finally, Taylor appears on the Count Basie/Harry Edison tune “Jive at Five,” a fiddle-laced slice of Southwest swing that prominently features the guitarist in lighthearted tandem with violinist Michael Gray. Likewise, two additional jazz standards, Duke Pearson’s “Jeannine” and Thelonious Monk’s “Pannonica,” receive fresh interpretations from the quintet. The former finds Gray and accordionist David Lange trading off the melody over block chords before the interplay becomes more complex and colorful. The Monk ballad, on the other hand, inspires an elegant, spacious and ultimately haunting performance. Each member of the ensemble-Gray, Lange, bassist Rick Leppanen and guitarists Troy Chapman and Ryan Hoffman-contribute pieces to Eleven. Choosing favorites may depend on the tempos you prefer, but suffice it to say that some of the tune titles-“Prozac Musette,” “Rumbatism” and others-seem particularly apt, pointing to the wit, charm, swing and lyricism that awaits Pearl Django devotees and newcomers alike. Small wonder that Taylor was happy to oblige.

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