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  1. #1

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    Just curious...how many other members here are into gypsy jazz...Django Rheinhardt...Birreli Legrene..Stochelo Rosenberg...etc. Going to Samois next year really looking forward to this.

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  3. #2

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    I heard my first Django record in 1970. I've been a fan since then.

  4. #3

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    Love Django!
    David - AcousticTones
    http://www.YouTube.com/AcousticTones
    Example of my playing: https://youtu.be/b20eMAp1neE

  5. #4

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    Count me in: Rosenberg Trio, Angelo Debarre, Stephane Wrembel and many others. Picking and right hand is completely different from what I am used to but I'll go through long periods where that is all I work on.

  6. #5

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    Big fan here! Birelli, Rosenberg trio, Joscho Stephan (in particular), Django. I love the music and the technique and I spend most of my practice time these days getting into that.

  7. #6

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    Django- great guitarist!

  8. #7

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    I love that stuff. Started with Django but has branched out since. Really like Frank Vignola, who does some Gypsy jazz but other sorts as well, all superb.

    Here's Frank and Andreas Oberg doing "Limehouse Blues"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #8

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    I'm in. A few years ago I met a violinist that was on the teaching staff at USC. It turned out he was a huge Grappelli fan and a monster sight reader of course, being classically trained. We practiced the rep-it was/is a real workout for me. Not to say I'm any good at it, however it sure is a challenge. We did a monthly gig at a Basque social club for while.
    The instruments can sure cause a bad case of GAS. Although I lusted after a Dupont for a long time and played several, my current rig of a Manouche Latcho Drom Djanology w/Big Tone thru a Shertler Unico gets the job done.

  10. #9

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    Here's Frankie V. and Tommy E. having a go at Swing 42 backstage at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville TN.

  11. #10

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    Love Gypsy jazz, spent about an hour practicing Improvisation #2 today.

  12. #11

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    After posting the clip of Clint Strong playing After You've Gone in the Western Swing/Hillbilly Jazz/Rockabilly thread. I thought a couple of clips of Django playing the same tune would be in order for this thread.



  13. #12

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    Once more with After You've Gone by Joscho Stephan in Nashville 2014.

  14. #13

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    Man, Andreas Oberg is a total freak of nature.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    Here's Frankie V. and Tommy E. having a go at Swing 42 backstage at the Bijou Theater in Knoxville TN.
    Man, I love that stuff.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  16. #15

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    Every time someone posts some gypsy jazz, I get on a kick of listening to a ton of it, am super wowed by how incredible the players are, consider trying to convert to that technique, then listen to some Django.

    At that point I am floored by how much better Django is than all the new guys, and I realize that, despite Django's own incredible technique, maybe I don't really want to just play scales super fast.

    Seriously, Django is unreal. How did he do it. Back in the day of one-take, no comps, no punch-in. Perfect time. Perfect phrasing.

    Those old dudes were ridiculous. I think that about Charlie Christian all the time, too. I know in some ways the music was more limited in its demands, but...damn.

  17. #16

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    Joscho Stephan and his trio doing "Sweet Georgia Brown."


    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  18. #17

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    Frank and Joscho doing "Minor Swing"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post

    At that point I am floored by how much better Django is than all the new guys, and I realize that, despite Django's own incredible technique, maybe I don't really want to just play scales super fast.

    Seriously, Django is unreal.
    I was actually going to post a very similar viewpoint, in that, whilst intending no disrespect whatsoever to the young lions keeping this wonderful music alive, I do feel that sometimes D'jango's melodicism gets overlooked. There's such genius to Django's improvisations and compositions, that they surpass his technique, and go straight to the heart of the listener. Definitely some of the greatest music of all time.

    Another player in this genre who, I feel, understood the importance of melody over technique was Henri Crolla. An ex-patriate Italian, and contemporary (and friend) of D'jango's.

    Last edited by pubylakeg; 11-16-2014 at 07:03 PM.

  20. #19

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    Thanks for that clip, pubylakeg. That was delightful. The thing that does seem to set Django and his contemporaries apart from many of today's younger players is that they did place a premium on melodicism when they soloed. I'll take that any day.

  21. #20

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    I really dig it, but like a couple of other posters mentioned I always just go back to Django himself. Sure, he had monstrous technique, but there is always such playfulness and joy in his playing that a lot of the gypsy jazz that came after doesn't have. There seems to be a heavy emphasis on macho athleticism in a lot of the more recent stuff. Very show-offy. It's probably the same reason why I could never get into flamenco even though I played classical for many years.

    I think when it comes down to it I'm far more into the "swing" of Gypsy Swing than I am the "gypsy".
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  22. #21

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    Did the whole gypsy scene exist with folks using the Selmer guitars before Django, or did everyone pick it up after him?

    I'm just curious where he came from. I know the violin had been used traditionally, but it seems like flat picked 6-string guitar was pretty new around the turn of the 20th century.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    Did the whole gypsy scene exist with folks using the Selmer guitars before Django, or did everyone pick it up after him?

    I'm just curious where he came from. I know the violin had been used traditionally, but it seems like flat picked 6-string guitar was pretty new around the turn of the 20th century.
    The guitar and violin were always part of the gypsy musical heritage. For obvious reasons, they preferred instruments that were light and portable. Which probably explains why there is no longstanding tradition of gypsy piano or pipe organ music.

    Like Eddie Lang and his American contemporaries, Django began his musical career playing banjo, albeit a six string banjo-guitar.

    His first jobs as a guitarist were in Musette ensembles and accompanying singers.

    When he started to attempt to play American Jazz, he filtered it through his Gypsy musical sensibilities. So basically, Django Reinhardt invented gypsy jazz. Until him, it didn't exist.

    The Selmer guitar first appeared in 1932 as The Selmer-Maccaferri guitar which had a 12 fret neck, steel strings and the D hole. Reinhardt seems to have adopted this instrument shortly after he and Grappelli formed The Quintet.

    Maccaferri left the Selmer Company in 1934 and shortly thereafter, Selmer began producing the Modele Jazz with a 14 fret neck and the small oval soundhole.

    The Modele Jazz with its light weight, steel strings, loud volume and quick response became Django's favorite instrument and he would play them, with a few exceptions, until the end of his life.

  24. #23

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    This kind of music is my life and job so very happy to see this thread
    Django was also using electric guitar toward the end of his career, check this out with Duke..:

  25. #24

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    Dario,

    You should post up some of your videos for the group!

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSanta View Post
    Dario,

    You should post up some of your videos for the group!
    Dario has posted videos here---I know because I've watched and like a few of 'em! But more would be welcome....
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Dario has posted videos here---I know because I've watched and like a few of 'em! But more would be welcome....
    Perhaps I should have said post videos in this thread

  28. #27

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    Thanks guys, appreciate it, here are a couple, this one from Django in June Festival:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt8LBXswON8


    Here at about minute 1, my version of a Django tune, Anouman: (btw, I have 7 of these songs downloadable for free if anyone interested. My site is temporarily down at the moment but will be up and running soon again..)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQEqsX_KbEA


    I also do transcriptions regularly (video + notation and tab in pdf), here's the latest, also available for free at my site currently when signing up:


    I just got back from a tour in Brasil for a gipsy jazz fest, so happy to see this kind of music growing, ciao!
    Dario

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecj View Post
    Every time someone posts some gypsy jazz, I get on a kick of listening to a ton of it, am super wowed by how incredible the players are, consider trying to convert to that technique, then listen to some Django.

    At that point I am floored by how much better Django is than all the new guys, and I realize that, despite Django's own incredible technique, maybe I don't really want to just play scales super fast.

    Seriously, Django is unreal. How did he do it. Back in the day of one-take, no comps, no punch-in. Perfect time. Perfect phrasing.

    Those old dudes were ridiculous. I think that about Charlie Christian all the time, too. I know in some ways the music was more limited in its demands, but...damn.
    Evan,
    I'm not certain what you mean in your second sentence but gypsy jazz isn't scales played super fast. Like bebop it's based on chord tones. If I've misconstrued your meaning I apologize.

    As far as how did he do it? Let's begin with the very real possibility that he was a genius in the truest sense of the word. Genius is a word that's been tossed about by marketers and public relations people so much that, in regard to music today, it's almost meaningless. If we accept the estimate proposed by psychologists that only 1% to 2% of the total population are geniuses, then we can see how truly rare a thing genius really is. Even as a child, he was considered special among his tribe who were known to place a great deal of emphasis on being able to play music well.

    Django never attended school. Instead, he spent his entire childhood learning to play music under the mentorship of the older musicians in his tribe. The entirety of his formative years were devoted to developing his skills, both aural and physical, on the guitar.

    Another consideration that we have to examine is that since that time, with all of the technical developments in recording, the bar has been lowered. A lot. With multi-track recording, punch-ins, pitch correction, synching and all the other advancements in recording technology that allow engineers to "fix it in the mix", we forget that even non-genius level musicians could get it right the first time because that's what was expected. There was no room for mediocrity.

    That's how I see it.
    Regards,
    Jerome
    Last edited by monk; 11-19-2014 at 01:14 AM.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    Evan,
    I'm not certain what you mean in your second sentence but gypsy jazz isn't scales played super fast. Like bebop it's based on chord tones. If I've misconstrued your meaning I apologize.

    As far as how did he do it? Let's begin with the very real possibility that he was a genius in the truest sense of the word. Genius is a word that's been tossed about by marketers and public relations people so much that, in regard to music today, it's almost meaningless. If we accept the estimate proposed by psychologists that only 1% to 2% of the total population are geniuses, then we can see how truly rare a thing genius really is. Even as a child, he was considered special among his tribe who were known to place a great deal of emphasis on being able to play music well.

    Django never attended school. Instead, he spent his entire childhood learning to play music under the mentorship of the older musicians in his tribe. The entirety of his formative were devoted to developing his skills, both aural and physical, on the guitar.

    Another consideration that we have to examine is that since that time, with all of the technical developments in recording, the bar has been lowered. A lot. With multi-track recording, punch-ins, pitch correction, synching and all the other advancements in recording technology that allow engineers to "fix it in the mix", we forget that even non-genius level musicians could get it right the first time because that's what was expected. There was no room for mediocrity.

    That's how I see it.
    Regards,
    Jerome
    Good thoughts, Jerome. I meant "how did he do it" sort of rhetorically. I agree that he was a genius. He's got to be one of the 4 or 5 greatest performers on the instrument in history.

    I've seen a lot of local gypsy guys who do a lot of scalar shredding. I was just noting that despite the incredible facility, Django's solos just sound a whole lot better, and he only does the scale things occasionally.

    I feel a similar way about Hendrix. He doesn't have a 10th of the technique of a lot of the later rock guitarists, but his solos are just...better.

    Still work hard on my technique, but I wonder how to quantify exactly what's going on with these guys that make them so good. Has something to do with their time and phrasing, but I'm not sure how to capture what it is that makes their improvisations so pleasing.

  31. #30

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    We haven't mentioned John Jorgenson yet, so here you go.

  32. #31

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    Couldn't agree more Jerome, many of Django's recordings are incredible by today's standards (especially for my taste, the Rome recordings) and considering Django was a pro by the age of 12, playing every night with the best accordionists and violinists (both instruments he "dabbled with", as well as piano), he was so ahead of the curve. He died at 43 and left an incredible amount of recordings, considering it wasn't as easy to record in the first place...and today I think he wold be floored at the amount of interest his music is continuing to generate, with so many new festivals every year...
    As far as the technique, more so than scales or arpeggios, it's the downstroke and reststroke that help make the sound (and the fingerings that as a result change a bit), but I hear a lot of Django in Jim Hall also (as intention), who doesn't pick with Django's technique, so it's all relative I guess..

  33. #32

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    I need to mention my favories--Boulou and Elios Ferre...

    Boulou's just a monster, and he doesn't get the credit a lot of the lightning fast modern guys get because he's addmittedly not as "clean."...and he doesn't conform. That's the thing that bugs me about the modern gypsy jazz guys a bit...they're hard to tell apart.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  34. #33

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    Evan,
    There are only a few of recordings of Django that I'm aware of that were made before the fire and those have him playing six string banjo or guitar while accompanying singers. So we don't really know "how" he played then but we can assume that he used all four fingers on his left hand.

    Post-fire, we know that Django spent 18 months recuperating, and having only two fully functioning LH fingers for playing melodies and limited use of the ring finger and pinky for chords, he re-taught himself how to play and came to visualize the fingerboard in a way that allowed him to play melodies and improvise by moving along the length of the fingerboard.

    Most of his solos have few scalar passages except in the lower positions because it's difficult to play scales in higher positions with only two fingers. The heart of his style is arpeggios played along the neck and ornamented with enclosures.

    John Jorgenson did a good job of teaching the two finger melodic approach in his Gypsy Jazz Guitar book/DVD/CD sets.

    The thing that always gets me whenever I see a film clip of Django playing is how natural and effortless it looks.
    Regards,
    Jerome
    Last edited by monk; 11-19-2014 at 01:16 AM.

  35. #34

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    Grappelli is just amazing, too. What a combo!

  36. #35

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    Jeff's mention of Boulou and Elios Ferre' is sufficient reason to briefly discuss what has been referred to as "The Ferret Dynasty".

    The Ferret Brothers, "Sarane", "Matelo" and "Baro" and their cousin, "Challain" were contemporaries of Django and, at different time accompanied him on records and in nightclubs.

    Pierre "Baro" Ferret was one of Reinhardt's closest friends as well his rival. Baro was considered by many to be Django's equal and is highly regarded as the composer of many "Valses Bebop". Baro appears in the video I posted as the guy in the middle wearing the fedora at the card table.

    Jean "Matelo" Ferret was also highly regarded as a guitarist and is the person who kept Django's composition Montaigne de St. Genevieve (Django's Waltz) from being lost to history by playing it after Django's death and recording it in the early 1960s. He is the father of Boulou and Elios Ferre'.

    Ettiene "Sarane" Ferret was the oldest of the brothers and appeared in movies and worked in various groups both live and on record.

    There are numerous audio and video clips of all three Ferret Brothers on YouTube as well as clips of Boulou and Elios Ferre'.
    Last edited by monk; 11-17-2014 at 02:25 PM.

  37. #36

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    Also important in my opinion, in the history of this music are Babik Reinhardt, Wasso Grunholz, Fapy Lafertin, Lulu Reinhardt, Hansche Weiss, Titi Winterstein. In the 60s and 70s they had a lot less exposure but they really bridged the world of Django with the world of the Rosenbergs, Debarre, Lagrene, etc.

  38. #37

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    Excellent point, Dario. The players who kept the music alive deserve more recognition. Fans of Jazz Manouche owe them a debt of gratitude. I especially enjoy Fapy Lafertin's playing.

  39. #38

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    Some of those Titi Winterstein recordings with Fapy on guitar are my favorite gypsy jazz recordings ever...
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  40. #39

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    I listen to gypsy jazz a lot but again, almost solely Django.

    As has been mentioned its the playfulness of his solos, but also (and i know this is a little cheesy) but he seems to be able to capture despair/hope/excitement and combine it all with interjections of humor somehow, which makes it all the more poignant.

  41. #40

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    Young Django with six string banjo.Gypsy Jazz-zdjango-jpg

  42. #41

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    I like a lot

    Tchavolo Schmitt & Samy Daussat :



    christophe

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by darionapoli74 View Post
    Thanks guys, appreciate it, here are a couple, this one from Django in June Festival:

    ...

    I just got back from a tour in Brasil for a gipsy jazz fest, so happy to see this kind of music growing, ciao!
    Dario
    Damn, Dario. I just got around to listening to these. You are the real deal, man. Awesome!

    Do you have an album up online? Post the link.

  44. #43

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    Here's a video that I found of Tchavolo Schmitt and Fapy Lafertin playing. The info in the video says that this was the first time that they had met. Two guys who meet for the first time and play like this makes a strong argument for internalizing repertoire. Just sit down and play tunes. No fake books. A real jam session, just like in the old days.

  45. #44

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    It's easy to trash today's young players but some do strive for something besides shredding. Jimmy Rosenberg has a SOUND.

    Also he seems to be really improvising instead of rattling off memorized phrases;



    His struggles with drugs have been documented but maybe he's having difficulty finding what he wants to express musically. If you have a good sound like Jimmy you don't need to show off. He can sound poor at times but that's because he's really improvising, not just playing it safe.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    Also he seems to be really improvising instead of rattling off memorized phrases;
    That's actually Django's solo pretty much note for note.

    Last edited by Jehu; 11-18-2014 at 11:06 PM.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  47. #46

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    ^^^
    He copies Django most of the way through here but Jimmy does improvise.

  48. #47

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    From what I have read about the culture that surrounds gypsy players "copying" a solo is seen as a great compliment, or accolade to the original player.

    I think strict learning of djangos solos plays an important part in developing players into improvisers.

    I also find it very interesting because it is music almost solely taught by ear.

    I had a lesson at Samois last year with a great player but I unfortunately never caught his name. It didnt matter that the lesson was being translated from dutch to french (which I also cannot speak) because the chap would just play a lick/chord progression repeatedly until I had copied it correctly.

    No explanation of shapes/frets or positions, and I felt like i was learning at warp speed.

  49. #48

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    This was posted recently on Djangobooks. Adrien Moignard (on the left) is my current hero. He's a guy who, like people like Bireli, has ventured well beyond Django's time-tested licks. But there is something about him that I much prefer to Bireli... a bit more cool and laid-back, if that makes any sense at these tempos.



    If this video doesn't make you smile, you need to get your smiler looked at.
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  50. #49

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    And he uses his fourth finger a lot! <gasp>
    Jay

    'boobadoobadoobaooababop!'

  51. #50

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    A favorite of my recently is Olivier Kikteff from Les Doigts de l'Homme.



    I also have to plug a local group that I like very much. They are starting to get some international buzz. John Larson is including them on a compilation album being put out next year.

    www.ultrafaux.bandcamp.com