Jazz Alley, Seattle Nov 5th 2005
What a superb show! Once again a gypsy jazz concert leaves me stuggling to put in to words as to what an awesome show this was. The artists were: Dorado Schmitt, Samson Schmitt (guitars) Pierre Blanchard (violin) Ludovic Beier (Accordian) Brian Torff (Bass).
At the start of the evening Brian Torff announced the sad news that they'd just heard of the passing of Dorado's mother and Samson's grandmother and that they would still play for us the best that they could.
They proceeded to play a passionate slow first set, with some heart-felt playing with songs including: a lovely Charles Aznavour slow ballard (sorry don't recall the French title?), "What is this thing called love"; "You are the sunshine of my Life"; "Nuages"; "Sweet Georgia Brown"; "Someone to watch over me"; "I got rhythm"; "Melodie au Crepuscule"; "Minor Swing" and a slow ballard played by Samson, Ludovic and Brian. After a standing ovation from the 300+ crowd and a short break they were back for a 2nd set. ...and what a set is was! I'm sure glad that I didn't head off on our 175 mile drive back to Porltand and hung around for the 2nd show.
The 2nd set was simply a blistering / firey / passionate set that was full of emotional playing by all. 2nd set songs included: Tears; Bossa Dorado; Them There Eyes; Dark Eyes; J'Attendrai; Sweet Sue; and for their encore Latcho Drom!
Dorado's playing can only be descirbed by me as some of the most passionate / heart-felt playing on both violin and guitar. "Tears" on guitar was stunning, with Dorado bending and coaxing mellow, sombre tones from his Dell'Arte D-hole. As things warmed up, he happily played requests, which included his lesson in how "Bossa Dorado" should be played! It will never sound the same again to me. The finale with "Latcho Drom" as their encore with Dorado and Pierre both playing the head out, was wonderful. Samson kept more of a back seat at this show playing 'second fiddle' to his Dad, but his Dad kept encouraging him to solo which he did on a few tunes, but noticeably held back out of respect for the great Dorado. Ludovic was incredible. Pierre Blanchard was amazing: first time that I've seen him: he's yet another incredible/passionate violinist to watch out for.
I have posted photos from this show at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/94161921@N00/?saved=1
(I tried to post them here Michael, but wasn't sure how to do it).