John Jorgenson's Gypsy Jazz Release 'Franco-American Swing' Now Available on FGM Records


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FGM Records announces the release of Franco-American Swing John Jorgensonís long awaited Gypsy jazz release. Jorgenson is best known as a founding member of the Desert Rose Band, for his dazzling fretwork with the super guitar trio The Hellecasters, from his six-year stint as a member of Elton Johnís band, and his session work with a diverse range of artists including rock icons Elton John, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Bob Seger, country legends Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Emmy Lou Harris and Hank Williams Jr. , and international superstars like Barbara Streisand and Luciano Pavarotti.

Even though he has made his living playing primarily rock, country, and pop music Johnís love for jazz and swing music dates back to his youth when his father, James, was conducting Benny Goodman. John, who idolized Goodman, actually got to play with his hero while his father led the way. As accomplished on clarinet as he is on guitar, Jorgensonís first swing recording After Youíve Gone was a tribute to both his heroes, Django Reinhardt and Benny Goodman. Released in 1985, John played Django style Gypsy jazz on the first side of the LP and recreated the sound of the Benny Goodman Quintet, playing both Charlie Christianís electric guitar parts and Goodmanís swinging clarinet style, on the other.

In the world of Gypsy jazz music, John Jorgenson has long been know as one of the best American masters of the Django Reinhardt guitar style. In 2002, when the musical director for John Duiganís film Head In The Clouds was looking for someone who could faithfully re-record two tracks from the Quintet of the Hot Club of France for use in the film Guitar Player Magazine editor Micheal Molenda recommended Jorgenson. John not only transcribed and recorded the Hot Clubís ďBlue DragĒ and ďMinor SwingĒ for use in the film, he also played the role of Django Reinhardt in the movie. The film, which stars Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, is scheduled for release by Sony Classic in September 2004.

Although the two songs from the movie soundtrack are included on Jorgensonís new CD, the disc primarily features his original music. Jorgenson says, ďMy goal in making this CD was not only to be as true to the style as an American can be, but also to expand the style by adding new compositions and including orchestral arrangements which are the result of an on-going creative collaboration with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. My background in classical music and my experience playing rock and pop music canít help but color my compositions and lend an accessibility that can be rare in jazz.Ē

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