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The Great Gypsy Jazz Debate in the Wake of the 1970s

DjangoBooksDjangoBooks Seattle✭✭✭ All of them!
edited May 2015 in History
imageThe Great Gypsy Jazz Debate in the Wake of the 1970s

This project will focus on the guitar style initiated by Django Reinhardt that came to define Gypsy Jazz. This specifically entails technical aspects of performance such as rest-stroke picking, rhythmical aspects and other idioms of the guitar itself. I will demonstrate that these are the only substantial musical differences between Gypsy Jazz and Reinhardt’s American Contemporaries, and that the main differences involve instrumentation and consequently the idioms of the guitar. During the 1970s, Jazz Fusion and Free Improvisation were emerging in America, but this was also the case with Gypsy Jazz music.

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  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Many thanks to Joe Perkins for making this excellent academic paper available to everyone here at DjangoBooks! :-bd
  • Fascinating study. Kudos to and many thanks to Perkins. Is it a degree thesis?
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    i just reread my interview portion, i m glad i chose my words carefully like a lawyer!
    MichaelHorowitz
  • This was my undergraduate paper! Thanks Michael for posting, and interviewees, Denis Chang, Jonny Hepbir and Robin Nolan. Words chosen very wisely Denis!
    JazzaferriMichaelHorowitzNoneBuco
  • Well done Joe. I trust you got an A
    Joe Perkins
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • swing68swing68 Poznan, Poland✭✭✭ Manouche Modele Orchestre, JWC Catania Swing
    A lot of really great stuff here - thanks Joe!
    The war on Am7 and Cmaj7 begins here ...
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    edited April 2015
    Well done!
    Just as a detail I'd like to point out that Joe Pass used a similar technique to what we now know as Gypsy Picking and definitely not straight alternate picking (Example 4).

    From The Joe Pass Guitar Method:
    "In my own playing I use alternate picking generally. When I shift from string to string I use down-picking regardless of whether I am shifting to lower or higher strings"

    He's obviously not speaking of alternate picking as we know it today, seems more like a description of pick directions in GP.
    Whether he used rest strokes or not I don't know...

    Anyway, as I said at the beginning it's just a small detail. I think it's a very well written paper. Congrats!
    MichaelHorowitzpickitjohn
  • Unique maybe when it comes to flat picked acoustic guitar but not other string instruments, there's oud and probably others from the same family.
    kevingcox
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Time to mention the best analyses of DR's playing that I've ever seen, that is, the work by Stan Ayeroff in his several books. I have noted over time that some criticize his fingerings. Well, I knew Stan well in the 70's and back then he could play all of the DR solos in his books from memory and without difficulty. Fingerings are a matter of learning (how the individual player learned) and that determines comfort level. At the time I shared some of Stan's ideas with Ted Greene and George Van Eps when I studied with them and they had no criticism of fingerings and praise for the transcriptions and analysis. Everyone plays to their comfort level. Stan lived that music and his approach to fingerings grew out of his experience at that time. His books should be consulted if one is going to analyze this music (fingerings determine picking).
  • Excellent read,well done...I find it very hard though to downplay the influence of Eddie Lang on Django { it has been written that he didnt care much for Lang, which i take as a sure sign of him acknowledging his greatness considering the accounts of his ego.} as far as technique { fast glissandi intros and runs and Italian Mandolin picking patterns, bass line led rhythm } even Repertiore ie "a little love , a little kiss" and the parallel of the C # minor prelude to Django's own solo improvisations to name a few as well as original creations... and instrumentation when paired with Joe Venuti and the lead role of the guitar over the banjo...Also the Undeniable presence of Louis Armstrong in the Repertiore { My Sweet, Glad when youre dead etc} also the tempo of tunes akin to Louis' way of lifting ballads up to dance tempos[ ie Body and soul }Even the soloing of Armstrong is particulary evident in reinhardt.. Odd placed phrases..low to high runs..High register soloing { often over the 12 fretin Django's case} also that uncanny knack that both possessed of never losing sight of the tune thay were playing through melodic lyricism. One could easily Argue that the Hot Club Pompe was also an abberation of the English Danceband beat of Roy Fox, Lew stone etc..{ Al Bowlly played a D-Hole Mac }
    I also love the modern fact that reinhardt having absorbed American influences through recorded music[ as you mostly do in the modern world} more so than live jazz music..then inturn influenced an entire legion of American guitarists{ Oscar Moore, Jimmy Bryant, Les paul, george barnes, etc..even wes Montgomery with his single string to octave to chordal approaches within a solo which is quite typical of a django solo... Its undeniable that Django is a BIG subject with lots of wellsprings of idea beyond and around music . And all that coming out from a little egg shaped hole in a guitar.
    BucoNonepickitjohnJoe Perkins
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