Marta Sierra & Yorgui Loeffler: C-Jam Blues

Spanish violinist and French guitarist are joined by rhythm guitar and bass in an energetic and imaginative set of Hot Club swing


The legacy of Reinhardt and Grappelli’s music has understandably continued, as has its popularity, given the immediate sense of propulsive swing and technical virtuosity it provides. These qualities are present on this album by Spanish violinist Marta Sierra and French guitarist Yorgui Loeffler.

Both are known as fine exponents of the music. Loeffler established his credentials as an associate of Bireli Lagrene over some years, and Sierra and Louffler’s appearances at Paris Jazz Club are a sign of the respect in which they are held. Proficient and effective support comes from Loeffler’s son, Magnio, on rhythm guitar whilst Parisian David Gousset holds down the bass lines.

The material hold no great surprises – these are popular tunes from the 30s and 40s including some indelibly linked with the Hot Club. Both lead guitar and Sierra’s elegant violin are precise and deliberate in their delivery of these standards, and they also show they are capable of improvising and moving outside the formality of composition. How High The Moon, Limehouse Blues, Django’s Tiger and Swing Gitan are good examples of this, played with verve and imagination.

The tracks are short and although the arrangements can be predictable, they are light and uptempo, Loeffler showing he can pull out the stops with displays of dazzling high-speed runs. Most are taken at a similar pace, the exceptions being Dolores, a short waltz, and Clair De Lune, highlight of the album. The latter is not Debussy’s version but the one Django played, composed by Joseph Kosma, more famous for writing Autumn Leaves. The extended version of Bonfa’s Black Orpheus closes proceedings with a touch of tango.

Enjoyable and something all followers of Parisian swing will want to hear.

C-Jam Blues; Back Home Again In Indiana; I’ve Found A New Baby; Dolores; It’s Only A Paper Moon; It Don’t Mean A Thing; How High The Moon; Django’s Tiger; Clair De Lune; It Had To Be You; Pennies From Heaven; Swing Gitan; Limehouse Blues; Black Orpheus (51.17)
Sierra (vn); Loeffler (lead g); Magnio Loeffler (rhythm g); David Gousset (b). Sabadell, Spain, September 2022.
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