OK. Tall Order. As some of you may recall, I've got 45 years of guitar playing in my life, lots of fun in the sun folk, some serous Chicago Blues, some studied Flamenco, most recently (a decade ago), a nice run with my own band playing New Orleans R&B with a splash of Texas Blues.
After a long hiatus, back on the instrument since July 2013. First, a nice Taylor cutaway acoustic, now an Altamira M10D (wish I had known about Djangobooks out of the gate and put all the money into a nice Dupont!). Early on, bought Yakov Hotter's "Minor Swing" course and learned the entire solo. Since then, took good advice from you guys and have been working my way through Micheal's Gypsy Picking book, determined to adopt it as my primary form. Also working on accompaniment in equal measure--nobody likes a hotdog soloist who can't play rhythm--and working on learning the canon of recognized tunes: "Minor Swing" "Minor Blues" "Dark Eyes" "Lady Be Good" "Honeysuckle Rose" and now, "All of Me". Got a good teacher who, although not primarily versed in Gypsy Jazz, is well versed in Jazz on guitar, and has backed up local New Orleans Gypsy Jazz players like Tony Green and others.
Let me cut to the core: as to soloing, I'm looking for the right path to be thinking and phrasing like early Django. I find I need to go here first to weed out any modern influences because I'll find myself falling back on quoting everything from Stevie Ray, BB King to Jeff Beck, or even Miles, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, etc. In other words, I want to get my mind and fingers in early Django phrasing before I go anywhere else.
For example, take "Honeysuckle Rose" (the very early version). The first chorus and bridge and return to head solo is deceptively simple, yet the phrasing is completely not intuitive to me. I know about Django's injury and the limitations it placed on his playing and what he did to overcome it. I know it influenced how and what he played, but it's more than that. The seemingly simple melodic phrasing in the beginning of this tune is what I'm trying to get to.
I've been working on arpeggios all over the neck in addition to key scales themselves just to know where I am. I've gotten good advice about soloing in this forum regarding staying near the melody and away from fiery scale flash for its own sake and I agree. I'm not completely lost because I can hear some of what I want in my head. But, other than immersing my ears in nothing but early Django solos, I'm looking for some other ideas.
Shortcuts? Maybe. But you other 60 and above guys know what I'm talking about--there's no time to waste.
Seriously, thanks for all the good advice so far and any forthcoming.