GAUCHO’s “Deep Night”
(Gaucho, 2009): While most of ever-growing parade of neo-Hot Club bands aim to dazzle with their instrumental virtosity, this swinging little six-piece San Francisco combo seems content to keep it in the Gypsy jazz groove without all of that hey-look-at-me showmanship. Not that these guys don’t have the chops; they do, to be sure. For example, the band’s saxman is Ralph Carney – formerly of Tin Huey as well as Tom Waits’ longtime musical cohort. But this all-instrumental album was recorded mostly live at the hip little dive bar Amnesia, where the band has maintained a weekly Wednesday night residency for the past five years, and the organic fingerprints are all over this music. There are standards (“St. Louis Blues,” “Dark Eyes,” “The Sheik of Araby”) as well as lesser known nuggets, all played with verve and and a healthy dose of humor.