“Hot Club” Swing Jazz (2009)
The new self-titled CD, Gypsy Mania “Hot Club” Swing Jazz (2009), offers spontaneous, vivid performances by some of Minnesota’s most stellar jazz soloists in the Django Reinhardt tradition and includes originals by guitarist Reynold Philipsek and bandleader-guitarist Glen Helgeson. Playing most of the leads is Gary Schulte, among the vanguard of jazz violinists, who delivers exceptional, virtuosic solos throughout the CD. This uncommon Gypsy Jazz compendium is a tune-packed and welcome addition to any “Hot Club” collection.
The prodigious and diverse stylistic pens of Philipsek and Helgeson bring new material to the band’s repertoire, adding a broader stylistic palate to the Django “Hot Club” tradition of the 1930s. Track #1 Butterfly, an
original by guitarist and band member Reynold Philipsek, sets the tone for the album with a musette in a quirky rhythm with a haunting melody that has become a much requested audience favorite. Tracks #2 picks up the pace with Philipsek’s driving East Hennepin. The relaxed groove on Helgeson’s track #4 Blues De Paris combines the musical styles of French gypsy and American blues-jazz. Track #7 Bar Del Pie offers an unexpected Latin Bolero featuring savvy percussion by special guest Michael
Gypsy Mania Quartet is the creation of longtime bandleader and guitar stylist Glen Helgeson, who is known for pulling together the stars of the Minnesota music scene. Helgeson is an ambassador in the jazz tradition, bringing diverse world music styles to people, educating them in these
traditions, and manifesting an unusual ability to write in those genres. The ensemble includes the unmistakable mastery of jazz violinist Gary Schulte, plus blinding solos from guitarist Reynold Philipsek, the diverse guitar styling of Glen Helgeson, and tasty, refined bass work from acoustic bassist Jeff Brueske.