Without really having heard this group before, a departure from the norm, no one really knew what to expect. I think that applied to most of the audience. One exception was a group of people turned up having heard this trio just two days previously and liked them so much that they came again for more. ‘You won’t be disappointed’ was their comment as they came in.
The evening was filled with a variety of music, everything from the Beatles to Bobby McFerrin with loads of variety in between including many items with a label which said ‘Hot Club’ or ‘Django’ No surprises there, after all the trio are billed as a modern manouche project.
A surprise item came about when a member of the audience, who had brought his violin to the party, was invited to play during the second half. He did and was roundly applauded and invited to play some more which he did. This was Pete Hartley who can play in many styles of music – classical, chart jazz, bollywood, Irish, Jewish and so the list goes on. But when it came to swinging jazz, Pete was certainly not lacking in that department.
This doesn’t undermine the talent of the trio whose repertoire was all encompassing. Dario Napoli on guitar was the leader backed very ably by Tommaso Papini on rhythm guitar with Albert Vigano supplying the bass line – a seven string bass guitar, because as Dario explained they had travelled to the UK by car. Flying with instruments is a nightmare and to bring a string bass in the boot of a car could prove to be difficult!
If you came along and expected gypsy jazz all the way with nothing else, then I think you might have been a little disappointed. If you came along with an open mind and enjoyed swinging jazz together with a variety of music, played with a number of strings, then I guess you would have been delighted.