Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli never recorded an album of holiday music, but the Hot Club of San Francisco -- who've long been inspired by those gypsy-jazz pioneers -- always wished they had. "What Would Django Do?," the Hot Club's guiding principle, led happily in this case to the creation of Hot Club Cool Yule. It's the 12th album in the San Francisco quintet's 20-year career and their second for Azica Records.
"We'd been considering a holiday CD for years," says the group's founder and lead guitarist Paul Mehling, "but we didn't want to just throw one out there. Now, with the birth of [violinist] Evan [Price]'s daughter in August -- which was imminent during the entire production of this CD -- we felt more connected to childhood and the holiday spirit than ever. We're also at an all-time high with musicianship in the band now. After 20 years we've really got a dream team, so we had to go for it now."