Personnel: Les DeMerle (vocals, drums); Phil Benoit, Tom Conway (guitar); Willy Wainwright (violin).
Audio Mixers: Jake Rohrer; Les DeMerle; Bonnie Eisele.
Liner Note Authors: Jake Rohrer; Les DeMerle.
Recording information: Ulu Loa Studio, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii (02/04/2008-02/09/2008).
Photographer: Caroline Blochlinger.
Les DeMerle and his wife, vocalist Bonnie Eisele, released a previous album of Gypsy jazz-inspired pieces back in 2009 that showed some hints of greatness when DeMerle and Eisele were able to combine effectively with their Gypsy jazz counterparts, and a bit of musical confusion when they weren't able to meet in the middle. Here, the two factions work together much more cleanly. Where DeMerle and Eisele had a tendency toward power in the past, they've replaced it with more grace. The lighter touch fits well into the ideals of Gypsy jazz and its focus on finesse, and allows the Gypsy Pacific quartet to provide outstanding backing tracks for the songbook entries of the album. The real star, though, as in the previous album, is the Gypsy Pacific band itself. In some instances, they still feel out of place (but sometimes simply disappear, which is suitable when Djavan's modern Brazilian pieces are inserted into the set), but when they're allowed to do just what they're meant to do -- an old ballad from Django Reinhardt himself, a hot ensemble piece in "Limehouse Blues" -- they can recall elements of the Hot Club of France, and that is something worth hearing in itself. ~ Adam Greenberg