Reviews About The Hot Frittatas
Some Comments About Our New Album: “What’s Next?”
Steve Werner, Los Angeles (Songwriter, Recording Artist ) January 25, 2010
What the Hot Frittatas are doing is absolutely unlike anything else anybody else is doing. The virtuosity in the playing is mind-blowing. It also makes me really happy. In soggy gridlocked Los Angeles traffic last week it effectively relieved my natural homicidal tendencies. It sounds like eating fish tacos, squashing grapes on Mr.Hulot's Holiday and I've just joined the Mafia all at the same time. Speaking of which, if you're ever kidnapped by the Mafia, play them this record and they will start blubbering and let you go, guaranteed.
Odile Lavault, Berkeley, CA (Accordionist, The Baguette Quartette) December 27, 2009
I have listened to the music many times and it is just magical. I am under the spell. The arrangements are complex enough to stay fresh time after time. What I like best is your very personal violin sound and of course your dynamic mandolin. … the French pieces: they are both very interesting and new to me (an added quality). You have developed your own style. Honestly, I do not listen to any other Italian band. I command you for keeping a tasteful repertoire, and arrangements that keep the audience on its toes.
Miles Kusic, Kalamazoo, Michigan (Review for the Classical Mandolin Society of America) February, 2010
The music on this CD sounds as if it has had many performances before being recorded and has a burnished lived-in quality that shows the Hot Frittatas’ love and respect for these tunes. I would categorize this as an excellent example of café music as one might have heard it in the 1920’s – 1930’s…. While this CD is thoroughly enjoyable to sit and listen to, it should be in every mandolinist’s CD library under “party music”. This is a delightful CD sure to please any mandolin loving crowd – party or no – serve with a nice California red, sit back, and enjoy.
Burney Garelick, Florence, Oregon (Writer and Editor), December 17, 2009 Review in Arts and Entertainment, Siuslaw (Oregon) News
“What’s Next?” delivers a tasty concoction of classical and contemporary roots music from Spain, Italy, France, Sicily, Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico. Waltzes, tangos, polkas, musettes, tarantellas and marches performed with expertise, equanimity, style and vivacity. “What’s Next?” transports the listener to Tuscany, Parisian cafes, Spanish bullfights, and Mexican fiestas. You’ll want to book a flight and boogie with the Hot Frittatas!
Peter Ostroushko, St.Paul, Minn. (Mandolinist, composer) August 20, 2009
Your take on "Vola, Palumba Vola" is perfect. I might even like it better than my own recording. How can this be? …Once again, thanks for your beautiful rendition of my tune. Al Fabrizio, Menlo Park, CA (Mandolinist) November 27, 2009
I just returned from Italy visiting my family in Tuscany and today I listened with GREAT PLEASURE to your album, “What’s Next?” The song selections are delightful and the mix is great, plus the musical performance is absolutely superb. You all captured the spirit of each number and the arrangements are just wonderful.
I know the making of an album is no simple task but your performances are relaxed, happy, smooth, clean and expressive. Your love of the songs comes through and you will make a lot of happy listeners.
Billy Packard, Santa Cruz, CA (Mandolinist, Guitarist), November 23, 2009
I love the CD. Such a great sound you guys have. You each make the song your own and I love your style. You have a wonderful way of turning a phrase and making the song unique. You give me a new perspective on some songs I have played forever, like the Mazurka for example. So nice. Gus, your violin tone is very personal and up close with great intonation. Dennis is fabulous. His accordion phrasing is also so musical. Sam drives the whole thing with much power. He is a wonderful bass player I love what you guys did on Gino's tune (Vecchia Spagna). Great work
Phil Lawrence, Sebastopol, CA (Mandolinist, band leader, teacher) December 17, 2009
I want to tell you how much I loved your performance last week. You have truly captured the essence and the spirit of that genre. Your mandolin playing reminded me of Matteo [Casserino] very much and your violin was exquisite. The teamwork was also exquisite. In short I loved it and the CD is wonderful also. Best Italian CD music I have heard ever yet and you can quote me on that. The sound is good and all the playing is excellent.
Jim Kohn, Asheville, North Carolina (Musician and writer) Dec. 15, 2009
It's a real foot-tapper, literally; either that or I have a new twitch in my leg!
I think you asked my opinion about the variety of tunes and I certainly don't think it goes far afield from the basic Hot Frittatas sound, that is, traditional Mediterranean. It's all beautifully done and the whole production is professional and should come with its own gourmet café.
“Invitation to Dance” Reviews
February-March 2005 Issue
…Invitation to Dance. That’s what the latest effort the keepers of the Ballo Liscio flame will indeed make you want to do: dance. This time, the trio is joined by Kazu Maruoka on tuba and Jim Kohn, whose clarinet playing gives a Klezmer feel to “Polka Milanese” and “Jim’s Farewell Tarantella.” They tiptoe into South America with “Cavaquinho Balada” and “Tango delle Stelle.” Gus Garelick, as usual, does a great job on both mandolin and fiddle, although I am partial to the pairing of mandolin with Dennis Hadley’s accordion. That’s tasty. Don Coffin holds things together with his solid guitar playing. This is great fun, another enjoyable effort from the group worthy of your attention.
Dix Bruce, Summer 2004
Invitation to the Dance is by the Northern California group The Hot Frittatas. It’s a collection of…dance tunes arranged for a European café ensemble, with a core of fiddle/mandolin, guitar, and accordion, augmented with bass and a variety of other instruments. Within this framework, the music is quite varied and eclectic.
Though the musicians describe their work as Italian music in the Ballo Liscio tradition, different cuts have Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Klezmer and even Brazilian pedigrees. It all has a decidedly ethnic sound and feel, with a range of traditions explored beautifully.
Mandolinist (and fiddler) Gus Garelick is prominently featured on many of the tunes and varies his sound and techniques according to the requirements of each genre. His superb playing fits each very well. Gus is also credited with the arrangements of all the tunes.
Overall, the CD offers a great sampler of what’s possible for the mandolin on these different types of music and in a variety of ensembles.
Dix sez: “Check it out!”
“Caffe Liscio” Reviews
Kurt MacInnis, September-October, 2004 (Los Angeles)
The first and most important news: this CD is a GOOD one! It has already brought me a lot of listening pleasure, and I’m looking forward to learning several of the selections… The highest compliment I can pay to fellow musicians is to learn what they do.
This is Italian music; it makes no reference to the Anglo/Irish tradition nor to old-time or Bluegrass styles. It comes through the nostalgic Italian-American tradition of the ‘teens and twenties in New York, from sources ultimately European. As a mandolinist, I find this CD to be particularly valuable…. The disc concentrates on the mandolin and violin melodies played by Gus Garelick, with careful melodic statements and accompaniment from the accordion (Dennis Hadley) and guitar (Don Coffin).
This is the second Hot Frittatas CD, and it shows many improvements over the first, Caffe Liscio (which, by the way, is lots of fun… in its own right). An expanded band includes … clarinet, bass, tuba and flute. The added instruments happily have been carefully directed and arranged [and] the recording… is more sophisticated. Ardent traditionalists may miss the ‘live’ sound of the first CD, which comes off like a good home recording of old friends playing favorite traditional tunes. I feel the care shown in selecting additional players and arranging their parts was well spent, and shows a logical direction in growth for the band and their repertoire.
The selection of tunes shows good variety in form and rhythm, from tarantellas to polkas and waltzes. Some of the tunes are quite new to me… Related listening might include: the first Hot Frittatas CD, Caffe Liscio, Ricardo Tesi’s Un Ballo Liscio, the Rounder collection Italian String Virtuosi, and two Global Village CDs: Speranze Perdute and L’Appuntamento.
Hats off to the band!
Dirty Linen magazine
“From San Francisco’s North Beach cafe society comes the Hot Frittatas, with nary a smidge of egg on their faces as they play music they’ve gathered from years of listening to traditional Italian and Sicilian music. They’ve been inspired by New-World maestri, namely Matteo Casserino and the late Rudy Cipolla. The group, actually based in Santa Rosa, includes Dennis Hadley, who squeezes the accordion, Don Coffin on guitar, and Gus Garelick, switching between mandolin and violin. It’s fun when Garelick cuts loose on the mandolin on polkas like “Napoli China e Femmine” and “Signora Fortuna.” The selections are a lively mix of cafe tunes, tarantellas, mazurkas, and, yes, the obligatory “Funiculi Funicula” acting as the coda. You can almost smell the cappucino.”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
(October 4, 2001 By John Beck)
“Cornering the market on Italian and Sicilian instrumental music, The Hot Frittatas are guaranteed to serve up a heel-kicking, lip-smacking platter of polkas, mazurkas, waltzes, tarantellas, marches and paso-dobles at this year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Don’t think of one-minute eggs, think of slow-simmering, skirt-flapping music cooked over a low heat. Locals might recognize mandolinist Gus Garelick, squeeze-box maestro Dennis Hadley and guitarist Don Coffin, but once they transform into The Hot Frittatas they become Augostino di Gorelli on violino e mandolino, Dionysius Hadjidakus on accordeon and Donello Coffino on chittara. As their latest album, “Cafe Liscio,” boasts, the Santa Rosa trio not only showcases the Ballo Liscio style of Italian music, but also French cafe, Russian and East European, and Latin styles. And with a little encouragement, they’ve been know to dive into a healthy round of Cajun hoedown jamming. A sample of the CD proves the band's old-world range: The song “Tenebre Infinite” mixes candlelight chianti with Fellini’s “La Strada,” whereas “Parigina Polka” is a Parisian polka the trio picked up from Berkeley's Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. And “Speranze Perdute” spins lost hope in the tradition of great operas, condensing nearly a century's worth of longing into less than four minutes.”
You can reach the Hot Frittatas
in Santa Rosa at (707) 526-7763
or in Lake County at (707) 995-0658.
Or find us on the web at www.hotfrittatas.com.