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Michel 'Sarane' Ferret

AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator
edited May 2012 in History Posts: 319
Michael Dregni wrote this in his biography of Django:
[Matelo] could barely remember the name of the street he lived on, yet in his head were thousands of melodies, which he passed on to his three sons, all excellent guitarists -- Michel 'Sarane,' Jean-Jacques 'Boulou,' and Elie 'Elios' Ferre' (p. 270).
Whoa! There's a *third* son, Michel? Who is an excellent guitarist? Has he recorded?



  • Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
    Posts: 615
    There is indeed a third son, but I know nothing about him and have only seen one picture, in which he looks sort of like Matelo, with dark hair and a mustache. I have read that he plays, but I'm not sure if it's a full time thing or not.


  • AndreasObergAndreasOberg Stockholm,SwedenModerator
    Posts: 522
    Many years ago, Jon Larsen and the Hot Club of Norway were invited to Matelo's home in Paris. Boulou&Elios were also there and suddenly Matelo brought out a third brother (they were kind of keeping him in the closet..). The third brother was retarded and not allowed to leave the house or even be seen in public.
    I played with the Ferre Brothers this summer in Birmingham and on the way to the airport, Boulou was speaking to himself for like half an hour...interesting :roll:
  • charinocharino New
    Posts: 1

    I am happy to see this unexpected talk about "Michel Ferret".

    In fact, the answer is easy to get: go to Paris, in the neighborhood were all this gypsy clan is established since the french Jazz early days: "PLAISANCE" or "PORTE DE VANVES" in the 14th area of Paris.

    If you go there you will probably find better than any information about Michel Ferret, you might find him in person!

    In fact I was born and raised in that area, and here every body knows Michel, he is our "mascot". In deed, a big part of the Ferret-Mailhes-Escoudé families live there.

    Concerning Michel's playing, it is complicated because lots of things are a bit secret in the gypsy culture, let's say that Michel is special. He always have a guitar in his hand, but doesn't play proper songs. Nevertheless, for those how are familiar with the ferret's music it's a great opportunity to meet him and listen a bit to his music; in fact he likes to talk about the Jazz, I think he is a kind of a crazy genious, he has a great memory and has lots of stories to tell.

    I have to warn you, he doesn't like to be recognized so don't even try to interview him, he would go away directly... don't ask him direct questions about him, his father or his family, but one thing is certain, just take a look at him and you won't have any doubt about his identity, and that without talking of his guitar sound....

    Unfortunately he isn't very respected in the gipsy community, maybe because of his "specialty"...

    I've known him since I'm born and when I see him, always in the street, he always yeals at me "come!" and when I come "play!" and he gives me his guitar... I know that this is a privilege, even if most of gadjo peaple have no idea about his real identity and his history.

    He still lives at his mothers, I think he got crazy when his father, Matelo, passed away...

    If you wan't to learn more about him, just go to "PLAISANCE" and find a strange fat gispy man talking (or yelling) to his self or screaming things about Django or Charly Parker, how they are the best etc....

    I like him and I would like him to be more respected, that's the reason of this post.

    Thank you and don't forget that all these people are gipsies, not manouche, that makes a huge difference. Don't forget that in fact the "Manouche Jazz" is in fact gipsy and not manouche, the thing is that it is a manouche who played it the best and who created famous techniks: Django, but he learned with gipsies and has always played with them.
  • new mexico (current)✭✭
    Posts: 91
    Fascinating stuff! I can't get enough of these stories...
    I love the Ferre bros!! To me some of the most complete sounding playing in the Gypsy genre...definitely drawing from a deep knowledge base/tradition..I hear Bach, debussy, etc. influences, as well as the great bebop players all wrapped in the gypsy tradition...inspired improvising. It took me a while to "discover" them this year and was surprised that I didn't hear their name mentioned once at Django in June last year (my introduction to the style)...I'm guessing one reason (though I have only heard all of the youtube stuff) may be that their style is not lick playing but true improvising..I noticed A. Olberg commented..another outstanding improvisor playing musically!
    Thanks for the post
  • tomcunntomcunn ✭✭✭
    Posts: 90
    i too love matelo and his style;
    the distinction is made by Charino between manouche and gypsy;
    i had thought they were the same;
    what is the difference?
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 529
    Francis Moerman also thought that Michel Ferret (he always called him Boubasse) was some kind of crazy genius, and he'd known him since he was a child. He told me the last time he saw him he looked like a homeless person wandering the streets around his mothers house. Francis said that Boubasse was a terrific guitarist and he believed that Boubasse was the originator of the style played by Boulou and Elios. I have what I think is a recording of him playing with Matelot but it's kind of hard to tell who is who.

    That area around Plaisance - Maurice Ferre lived in that area too. Nearly everyone in the big block of apartments where he lived had what we think of as gitane names - Ferre, Garcia, Pouville, Mailhes. I think there are a lot of musicians around there. These "gitanes" are the descendants of Spanish gypsies, and "manouches" are generally Sinti gypsies. The Ferrets were gitanes - Matelot told Francis that he'd grown up speaking some Calo (the Spanish gitano language) but he'd forgotten it because no one ever spoke it in Paris.
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,042
    I have on a gypsy jazz 4cd compilation a lot of tracks billed as 'sarane ferret et le swing quintette de paris with georges effrosse' .. but it must be Etienne "Sarane" Ferret, the brother of matelo ?
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,171
    wim wrote:
    I have on a gypsy jazz 4cd compilation a lot of tracks billed as 'sarane ferret et le swing quintette de paris with georges effrosse' .. but it must be Etienne "Sarane" Ferret, the brother of matelo ?
    Yes it is.
  • mobreaumobreau U.K✭✭✭
    Posts: 48
    The third brother was retarded and not allowed to leave the house or even be seen in public.
    Possibly a little unfair. There is a picture of him in Samois with Matelot, Boulou, Diz Disley and Ian cruickshank. At least i am pretty sure it is. Just google image it...
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    Damn!!! i REALLY want to hear him!!
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