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marc4045 Samthedjangologist joshco61 Trudolf

Mario, Django, and classical guitars

trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
I came across this photo of Maccaferri in Summerfield's "The Classical Guitar" (2nd ed.). Supposedly it's from 1926, a period that that great article Michael posted <http://www.djangobooks.com/archives/2005/12/29/mario_maccaferri_plays_classical_guitar.html#000467>; said that Mario was in London, becoming friends with Segovia, and working on guitar prototypes. If the date is correct, it's interesting to note how early the basic D-Hole design elements were in place, the cutaway and soundhole.

Any nylon-string affcianados out there ever played a Maccaferri-style nylon string guitar, either by Selmer or a modern luthier? Are there any disadvantages, tonally or otherwise, between a Mac classical and the standard Torres / Ramirez-type instruments?

Also attached, another photo of a wacky classical guitar being played buy English (by way of Russia) guitarist Boris Perott, a guitar that seems to be related to the strange double cuttaway that Django is seen playing in an early photo.

Finally, a photo familiar to most of you, either from the cover of Michael's "Unaccompanied Django" or from elsewhere, of Django playing a Maccaferri classical. I didn't realize that he was playing a classical in this photo until my copy of Michael's book arrived. There aren't any recordings of Django playing on a classical known to exist, are there?

Neil
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Comments

  • Mac HackMac Hack San Diego, CANew
    Posts: 44
    Neil,

    The strange double cutaway was made by Julian Gomez Ramirez. You can see a nice example of one from the Muse'e de la Musique in the new bio of Ste'phane Grappelli by Paul Balmer. I highly recommend trying to find a copy of "Guitar Stories Volume Two" by Michael Wright which is filled with photos of Maccaferri's work before, during, and after his association with Selmer. Of course the Francois Charle books is a must have as well.

    From having read previous threads at www.hotclub.co.uk/ and www.guitarseminars.com I believe that Django did make several recordings with the gut string Mac.

    I've never played one but I've heard that they have a unique sound much different than the standard classical popularized by Segovia. I believe that Mario was somewhat of a classical prodigy himself and somewhat of a rival to Segovia. I'm no expert on such things but I believe that classical technique was not as standardized then as it is now. While Segovia played with the flesh of his fingertips, Mario fell under the spell of his mentor Luigi Mozzani who played with a thumbpick and fingernails. I can't help but wonder if Maccaferri's technique may have driven certain aspects of the design.

    By the way, it looks like Buffalo Brothers has a new Dell' Arte Maccaferri style classical for sale.

    1.jpg
    http://www.buffalobrosguitars.com/image ... index.html[/code]
    "On apprend tous les jours." - Stéphane Grappelli
  • joefjoef Wales, U.K.New
    Posts: 35
    You can see a Mac classical being used by one of the Hot Club Quintet rhythm players ( is it Joseph R. ? ) in a couple of photos (eg at the Hague 10/09/37) and in one of the clips on the Stephane Grappelli DVD.
    I don't know if its on any of their recordings, though...

    regards

    Joe
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    Mac Hack wrote:
    Neil,
    From having read previous threads at www.hotclub.co.uk/ and www.guitarseminars.com I believe that Django did make several recordings with the gut string Mac.

    If he did, none were ever released. I've listened to the 20 double-CDs Integrale and have yet to spot even a doubt for a gut-stringed guitar.

    Those long-shadowed "artistic" pictures of Django with Maccaferri Concert were taken on one photo-session for Selmer to use in its marketing campaigns and advertisments. In return for his modelling Django got the right to pick guitars at will from the store (before the war). There are no real-live photos nor audio traces of Django with this model. I assume he used his deal for jazz models only.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    There is something funny looking about that picture of Django in the early group. All the dark tones are gray and then there is Django's hair and other dark areas are much darker. I would lean on the side of this image being altered in some way at some point. Not saying he was not there at all but it looks to me as if there has been something done.
  • Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
    Posts: 615
    Josh Hegg wrote:
    There is something funny looking about that picture of Django in the early group. All the dark tones are gray and then there is Django's hair and other dark areas are much darker. I would lean on the side of this image being altered in some way at some point. Not saying he was not there at all but it looks to me as if there has been something done.

    The image was not altered. It's simply a funky scan. You can see a decent version of the 70+ year old photo here:

    http://www.djangomontreal.com/images/Guerino.jpg or in the Delauney book.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Ahh... Yes... Thanks for clearing that up for me Ted.

    Cheers
  • Mac HackMac Hack San Diego, CANew
    Posts: 44
    kimmo wrote:
    If he did, none were ever released. I've listened to the 20 double-CDs Integrale and have yet to spot even a doubt for a gut-stringed guitar.

    Those long-shadowed "artistic" pictures of Django with Maccaferri Concert were taken on one photo-session for Selmer to use in its marketing campaigns and advertisments. In return for his modelling Django got the right to pick guitars at will from the store (before the war). There are no real-live photos nor audio traces of Django with this model. I assume he used his deal for jazz models only.

    Well, it wouldn't be the first time that one of my beliefs turned out to be wrong. If so, then I stand corrected and I thank you.
    "On apprend tous les jours." - Stéphane Grappelli
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 519
    The odd guitar - I don't know how common this design was but I have seen at least one similar guitar of German origin on Ebay. For some reason I didn't save the data. The one in the Paris museum belonged to one of the Ferret brothers. Whether it's the same guitar as in the photo in Django's hands, who knows? Maybe not - the museum guitar has a pickguard. The guitar in the museum was stolen from Sarrane Ferret when he left it in a cafe in Montmartre. Later on it turned up on an album cover by the singer Dmitrivitch. Sarrane found out who had it and got it back. Or that's how I remember the story as it was told to me...

    A German luthier named Henning Doderer makes acoustic basses of this design - for all I know he makes guitars too. Here are a few photos.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    Form the photo with the label it looks as thought this guitar is really thin. The sides must be narrow. Could be an illusion but that label, if on the back of the guitar, looks close to the top.


    Thanks for the info! It would be fun to try and build a guitar in this style some day! Think it would sell?

    Josh
  • thripthrip London, UKProdigy
    Posts: 153
    kimmo wrote:
    I've listened to the 20 double-CDs Integrale and have yet to spot even a doubt for a gut-stringed guitar.

    Are you sure? Listen to "Un Baiser" from 1935 on Integrale Vol.2. It sounds like it could be gut-stringed to me.
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