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Kevin Connor: Swingtet

Kevin Connor takes Gypsy Jazz to a different continent on this release. Not only playing guitar as he leads a team of Craig Flory/cl, Jeff Norwood/b and Joseph Mascorella/dr, he adds latin percussionist Pedro Vargas and himself includes the Tres and Coro on a number of tracks, giving a Central and South American flavor to the caravan.

The classic Hot Club of France sound patented by Django Reinhardt is still in full force on the wonderfully swinging “Everything Happens In May” and “Crisp September” with unison lines between Flory’s warm stick and Connor’s strings a pure joy. Things get a bit more exotic with a salsa-d “Cha Cha Cha pa’la Lluvia” and “Changui para ti which include earthy vocals by Carlos Cascante” and lithe tres picking. A Brazilian sounding “June Bossa” and an almost klezmer-ed “Seattle Charleston” are totally fun, while a sensuous “Kitty Kat” and lilting “Two Finger Waltz” are custom made for dance partners. Small group swing at its apotheosis!