The Hot Club of San Francisco John Paul George & Django 180g LP
Limited Edition 180g Vinyl LP - Only 300 Copies!
The Hot Club Of San Francisco goes Fab! The venerable Gypsy Swing Combo
interprets The Beatles on the gorgeous album "John, Paul, George & Django." It
was only a matter of time before guitarist Paul Mehling focused his creative
mojo on Lennon and McCartney's vast and enduring treasure trove of songs. The
founder and guiding spirit of the Hot Club of San Francisco, America's longest
running Gypsy swing ensemble, Mehling was first inspired to pick up a guitar
when the Beatles launched the British Invasion via Ed Sullivan's show on Feb. 9,
Now Mehling's HCSF is recolonizing the Fab Four's songbook in the name of Gypsy
jazz legend Django Reinhardt with John, Paul, George and Django, a ravishing and
consistently revelatory reimagining of classic Beatles tunes.
"We've been road testing arrangements and tune selections for several years
and it's just gold," Mehling says. "These tunes were really well crafted,
and our job is to present the songs through our prism. Our vision can be summed
up as WWDD?: What Would Django Do? What if he hadn't died, and had lived long
enough to interpret Beatles songs? Because you know he totally would have."
In many ways, Mehling planted the seeds for the project some two decades ago. On
1994’s Quintet of the Hot Club of San Francisco the band interpreted “And I Love
Her,” and a few years later on 1997’s Swing This, Mehling found an ideal conduit
for Gypsy soul in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He wants to make clear that
the album’s title isn’t intended to diminish Ringo Starr’s essential
contributions, noting that like Ella Fitzgerald interpreting Cole Porter, the
album is about “John, Paul, and George as composers.” Their songs have rarely
sounded so enthralling.
With its psychedelic production and hypnotic 5/4 groove, “Fool On the Hill”
feels like Django traded Parisian nightlife for an acid test, a trip he
thoroughly enjoyed. With French-born Hot Club rhythm guitarist Isabelle
Fontaine’s simmering delivery of her translated lyrics “If I Needed Someone”
turns into a Gallic torch song (and check out Mehling’s brilliant interpolation
of “Within You Without You” in his solo). “Don’t Bother Me” bounces with a
swinging reggae feel, and “You Can’t Do That” gets to Paris via New Orleans with
a washboard powered beat. “You Don’t See Me” gets a straight ahead Gypsy swing
treatment, and the woozy ballad “Because” turns into a brisk Gypsy jazz sprint.
Though the present lineup has been in place for more than five years, creating
John, Paul, George and Django put the band’s copacetic chemistry to the test.
“It was very contentious, especially the arranging,” Mehling admits.
“Everybody’s got really strong feelings about the Beatles. But I’ve had the band
almost 30 years and Evan’s been in it almost 18. We’re all still friends and we
worked it out! It took a long time to settle in on the program and then polish
the arrangements. We’ve already got a list for volume 2!”
"Indicative of the concept's success, these interpretations give even listeners well steeped in all things Beatles a greater appreciation of the structural and melodic perfection of the original repertoire while also impressing with an imaginative approach to same... Live but full sonics lend immediacy to a most memorable outing." - David McGee, The Absolute Sound, April 2017, 3.5/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics
• Limited Edition - 300 Copies
• 180g Vinyl
1. All My Lovin'
4. I Will
5. Here, There and Everywhere
6. You Won't See Me
7. The Fool On the Hill
8. If I Needed Someone
2. You Can't Do That
3. For No One
4. Don't Bother Me
5. Hey Jude / Duke & Dukie
6. Things We Said Today
7. Yellow Submarine