As I continue my musical journey, I find myself noticing something that someone else mentioned on this forum. He said something to the effect that he could hear when someone was soloing with an emphasis on melody verses a knowledge or basis of scales. I'm finding that I have been attracted all along to the more melody-based solos and the licks that comprise them versus those solos that are technically scale-correct, but seem to be saying not very much melodically.
For example, I think the epitome of a melody-based solo is the classic "I'll See You In My Dreams." (I think it was voted one of the top 10 guitar solos of all time.) Sure, I've taken apart the solo and can find the correct scale and corresponding chord. But the solo is so beautifully composed on its own, that it can stand and challenge the actual melody of the tune.
For this reason, I have concentrated the bulk of my efforts on memorizing the Django solos and drawing what I need from them. (Who could argue with this approach?) In contrast, I have enjoyed the always energetic but playful and interesting Stochelo solos, and have spent a number of months on his site as well. Also, while not strictly a Gypsy Jazz player, I have found the phrasing of Joe Vignola to be very interesting and melodic.
So, fellow pickers, do you agree with my assessment? Can you name some of the great players that have come after Django who seem to solo primarily on melody-based ideas? Can you name a tune to illustrate your point?
I think this would be a great list. I know I sure would like to delve into it myself.