This London-based chamber-style gipsy jazz manouche band consists of four brilliant musicians (three of them conservatory trained), with the group's violinist, Yorkshire born, Scottish raised Matt Holborn previously having played as a guest with guitarist Remi Harris. The Latchepen line up is completed by guitarists Kourash Kanani and Jeremie Coullon plus bassist Simon Read (Sam Leak Trio). Full of passion for Django Reinhardt, 1930's swing and Romani music in general, their music is a contemporary reflection on the era that saw jazz hit heights in popularity never to be seen since.
Gypsy jazz is a musical dialect unique to Europe. With its French origins, it tends to be very melodic, extremely flamboyant and full of romanticism and nostalgia.
Latchepen brings its upbeat swing to jazz, bebop and songbook standards, unfamiliar gypsy jazz fare and high-quality original compositions, the latter influenced by Romani folk and Ballkan, Mediterranean and North African music. It offers something fresh and exciting while working broadly within the gypsy jazz template. Intriguing and invigorating in equal measure, the quartet intertwine playful guitars, sparkling violin and melodic bass, the rapid chug of the rhythms fuelling nimble solos from all four members of the group. This is virtuosic, wildly exciting stuff.
The group name comes from an exclamation expressing 'happiness and contentment' in the Romani language.