The Bonaventure Quartet

The Bonaventure Quartet

BandJazzAcoustic

The Bonaventure Quartet is a unique group which hails from Atlanta and is one of the premier gypsyjazz/original swing music groups in America... Just visualize Django Reinhardt and Patsy Cline joining forces on stage playing a smoky honky tonk in Paris, Texas.....

Biography

Atlanta's Bonaventure Quartet has been profiled in Michael Dregni's new book, ' Django Reinhardt and the Illustrated History of Gypsy Jazz' as one of the premier groups in this style in America, alongside of Pearl Django and the Hot Club of San Francisco. Most of the groups in this style worldwide play the same repertoire of instrumental standards made famous by Django. The BVQ has caught the ear of critics and writers because of two factors; the intoxicating voice of Amy Pike and the quality of the original music they write. The BVQ began in 2000 as outlet for Charles Williams, formerly of The Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Bruce Hampton, and Amy Pike, formerly of Landslide Records' The Lost Continentals...Charles had been playing funk and rock, Amy had been playing punk and swing and both were looking for a change. So the jam band veteran and the swing chanteuse, both songwriters with major label credits joined forces for an all acoustic swing/jazz/and more group....

Southeastern Performer Magazine August 2008

The Bonaventure Quartet - The Secret Seduction of the Grand Pompadour

Recorded at Ken Gregory Studios in Atlanta, GA | Produced by Charles Williams Engineered and mixed by Ken Gregory | Mastered by Alex Lowe

"It never, ever, gets old hearing a band play music like The Bonaventure Quartet does on The Secret Seduction of the Grand Pompadour. The band’s blend of western swing and old time jazz played through a southern filter jumps in your pocket and puts a high-dollar sprint in your step. Like Christabel and the Jons or Miss Tess, The Bonaventure Quartet brings the unmistakable music of jazz clubs and cabarets of ages past beautifully to the present and in an unsullied light.

The songs are steadfast and mysterious. They are sleek and sexy, smooth like honey spread on gold bars. Amy Pike’s vocals are celestial in a bawdy kind of way — sweet and sassy, delivering something both timeless and easy to swoon over. On “Henry and June” Pike coos and purrs when she sings lyrics like “They were the love of each other’s lives.”

But just as the music on The Secret is from an era many will find fresh, yet it’s not without its own diversity. Note the Asian flavor lent to “Postcards” on its opening and during each break, the Mexicali flair of “Moonlight Falling” or the Henry Mancini strut of “Lily’s on the Prowl.” Don Erdman’s sax takes a wonderfully curious walk all over the track. His clarinet playing on “The World’s Greatest Lover” charms and the combination of Erdman and Pike recalls Carmen McRae’s “You Took Advantage of Me.”

The music-only interludes on The Secret are like life’s playful moments, sweet pauses before strong emotions. This is a careful and cautious creation to be sure, but the band handles it deftly with uncanny inspiration.

When not focused on cooking things up, The Secret moves casually along like a stroll on a weekday afternoon. Take “The Very Idea” or “Little World” which sound like the melodies echoing in the ears of new lovers or those taking the fall unknowingly. The Bonaventure Quartet takes care to swing you around in their arms and embrace you with the same soulful manner. (Château Debris Music)"

-Brian Tucker

Charlie Williams- The guitar soloist with the BVQ was a founding member and guitarist for the Aquarium Rescue Unit featuring Col. Bruce Hampton. He was the writer of several songs for the band's two Capricorn releases, the first of which received a five star review in Rolling Stone magazine. Two of those songs were performed regularly on the Jay Leno show for over two years. The Aquarium Rescue Unit was a progenitor of the 90's wave of jambands. Alumni of the band include Jimmy Herring, now with The Dead and Phil and Friends, Otiel Burbridge of the Allman Brothers and Jeff Sipe of the Susan Tedeschi band.

Amy Pike- Amy is well known in Atlanta for her sultry singing style. Her group, The Lost Continentals, were hugely popular in the Southeast and songs from their Landslide Records' release, Moonshine and Martinis have played on national radio as well as being utilized in network television commercials. Amy has garnered, to date, a total of eleven Best of Atlanta awards for her musical outings. Basically, she rocks.

David Boling-Rounding out the sound of the BVQ with his strong rhythm playing, Dave is also known for his ukulele stylings with local Atlanta Hawaiian group Tongo Hiti..

Mark Bynum-On upright acoustic bass, Mark has played with Col. Bruce Hampton, Blueground Undergrass, and too many Atlanta notables to name.

Don Erdman-Don plays clarinet and sax with us and we're really happy about that...He gets called to back up the likes of Nancy Wilson and other 'name' people when they come through town...

Marla Feeney-On violin and practically anything she picks up Marla wails.

Lyrics

Henry And June

Written By: Charles Williams


Henry and June checked into their room
About a block from the Eiffel Tower
As Henry turned the key, he said to June
“Now we’re free. At least for a couple of hours…”

June thought him brave. She liked to watch him shave
Like some Roman on the battlefield
He’d tell a dirty joke, she’d laugh and light up a smoke
And show him what her robe concealed

But Henry liked to drink- he said it helped him think
But sometimes it just made him mean
And while June could be sweet, she wasn’t one to retreat
She’d match him scene for scene

Now everyone knows what they were wearing
Everyone knows, what was said
Everyone knows, who called who a traitor
And who loved who the best

Henry and June fit together like two spoons
But cut each other like a pair of knives
And as is so often true it was only later that they knew
They were the loves of each other’s lives

Blue Rendezvous

Written By: Charles Williams

Did you think I forgot?
Or got lost on the way
Did you think I slept through
Our Blue Rendezvous?
Like a leaf from a tree
I fall towards you
I've been falling forever
into this Blue Rendezvous

And should I confess?
To the half truths and lies
That I may have offered
As part of my disguise?

Now I've nowhere to go
and I'm long overdue
And I tumble like dice
Into this Blue Rendezvous

Moonlight Falling

Written By: C. Williams/Chateau Debris Music

Moonlight Falling

C. Williams

Moonlight falling on your summered skin
The evening’s air’s fragrant mist
A touch as light as an Angel’s kiss
What would you give for this?

A window open to a precious view
An old love suddenly new
The answer to an ancient wish
What would you give for this?

Tell me what you thought it was you needed
So desperately
Time goes by, you forget why,
Even stars go to sleep

I close my eyes for the very last time
And then I open them again
The world’s the same, but everything’s changed
I gave my all for this
I gave my all for this
I gave my all for this

Moonlight Falling

Written By: Charles Williams/Chateau Debris

Moonlight Falling

C. Williams

Moonlight falling on your summered skin
The evening’s air’s fragrant mist
A touch as light as an Angel’s kiss
What would you give for this?

A window open to a precious view
An old love suddenly new
The answer to an ancient wish
What would you give for this?

Tell me what you thought it was you needed
So desperately
Time goes by, you forget why,
Even stars go to sleep

I close my eyes for the very last time
And then I open them again
The world’s the same, but everything’s changed
I gave my all for this
I gave my all for this
I gave my all for this

Little World

Written By: C. Williams/Chateau Debris Music

Little World

C. Williams

I had a dream, the other night
You were smiling, and full of Light
And then you turned and walked away
And I woke thinking of you

What’s a dream? A Little World
Where anything can occur
A broken heart can be whole again
If just for awhile

Across this earth, most every night
We say a prayer, turn out the light
And then we slip away like boats adrift
Deep into our Little World

Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes not
Sometimes we’re free, sometimes caught
But it’s as real, as real can be
And who’s to say that it’s not?

Across this earth, most every night
We say a prayer, turn out the light
And then we slip away like boats adrift
Deep into our Little World

Little World

Written By: Charles Williams

Little World

C. Williams

I had a dream, the other night
You were smiling, and full of Light
And then you turned and walked away
And I woke thinking of you

What’s a dream? A Little World
Where anything can occur
A broken heart can be whole again
If just for awhile

Across this earth, most every night
We say a prayer, turn out the light
And then we slip away like boats adrift
Deep into our Little World

Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes not
Sometimes we’re free, sometimes caught
But it’s as real, as real can be
And who’s to say that it’s not?

Across this earth, most every night
We say a prayer, turn out the light
And then we slip away like boats adrift
Deep into our Little World

The Dinner Car

Written By: Charles Williams

I’ll never forget that broken night
When we boarded the train in Berlin
The Dinner Car was packed with girls from Brazil
And the art dealer from Zurich got sick in his hat

I asked the conductor not to switch the tracks
This train was going too fast
And he answered me slowly, through a moustache dripping wax
“What train? What switch? What track?”

So we hurtled along, through the night
The rain pounded like fists on the skylight
And you told me the stories you’d heard from the lips
Of the men whose names you’d forgot

I caught one last glimpse of the temple inside
As I watched you tear your ticket in half
And your beauty was silenced by the sound of the wheels
As the conductor threw the switch to the track

I watched you fall asleep by the window
And your dreams filled the car like a flood
And the men you’ve denied went floating outside
Forsaken, forgotten, for now

And I found myself swimming
Alone on a lake, this train had jumped the tracks
The conductor floated by and opened an eye and said,
“What train? What switch? What track?”

Discography

Blue Rendezvous- 2002 Chateau Debris Records

Songs from Trattoria La Cellina- 2004 Chateau Debris Records

The Secret Seduction of the Grand Pompadour-2008
Chateau Debris Records

Set List

We have a large repertoire which features our originals complimented by classic jazz standards, all falling under the spell of the Django influence. So we usually mix it up depending on the show/event. For a festival or concert we'll play about 70% original tunes and the rest being a mixture of covers, Western Swing or obscure tunes that we like. At a corporate event or a wedding, then we'll weight the set list more towards 80% familiar songs and standards that the audience knows.

Here's a sampling:

What is This Thing Called Love-Porter
Just About Knocked Me Out-Cole
Confessin’ I’m In Love With You
Russian Lullaby-Berlin
Daphne-Reinhardt
Just One of Those Things-Porter