What is gypsy jazz? Chicago musician Andy Young answered that question for about sixty listeners at Thomas Ford Memorial Library's March 9 Friday at the Ford concert. Gypsy jazz or gypsy swing is music that rose in clubs in 1930s Paris. Director Woody Allen included some pieces in his recent film Midnight in Paris, one of which Young played on hammered dulcimer accompanied by guitarist Al Tauber. Hammered dulcimer is not an instrument usually associated with tunes that may make listeners think of old French films, but Young's interpretations delighted our appreciative audience, including some children awe-struck with the hammering.
We already knew Young for his Celtic music, some of which he performed on the dulcimer, tin whistle, and Irish flute. Andy and Al kept our feet tapping with an abundance of reels, some of which were nameless. It was good pre-St. Patrick's Day listening.
Since the concert, I have been listening to his latest CD L'Accroche-Pieds, which mixes Celtic tunes and gypsy jazz in a measure similar to the concert. The CD features a number of other musicians and even includes the sound of Irish step dancing. It is mostly cheerful music good for home or mobile listening.
You can learn more about Andy Young at his website.