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Django in June: An Appreciation

pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
edited July 2006 in North America Posts: 245
Andrew Lawrence (and crew) did a fantastic job in staging Django in June this year. There were wonderful clinics and workshops by Andreas, Stephane, and Lollo Meier (these are the ones I attended; there were others as well). One of the things that struck me about each of these was the true generosity and helpfulness of each of the workshop teachers. More than vague suggestions, each clinician had a unique and thoughtful approach to their workshop.

The concerts were also stellar. Andreas and Michael made a wonderful duo for the first half of Friday night's concert. Andreas pulled out what I'm sure is just a small portion of his bag of tricks, at one point detuning both the low E and A strings to play a sort of slap-bass self-accompanient (I later thought that he should name this "Djacology"). The Stephane Wrembel trio played a firey set that can not be easily labeled as Gypsy Jazz (or anything else for that matter). Bassist Jared Engel and percussionist David Langlois pushed some boundaries (sucessfully) with their music, and I loved it.

Saturday's concert was Lollo Meier with Tim Kliphuis, Dave Kelbie, and Jared Engel playing straight ahead swinging jazz at its best. Lollo is an exceptionally graceful and melodic player, and Tim Kliphuis swings! His playing reminds me more and more of Grappelli's: not so much in specifics as in swing and charm.

And to top it off, it was great to connect with people from the list, meet some new people, and be surrounded by the ongoing jams.

I would encourage all of you to try and come next year. Northampton is a beautiful town, Smith college has a lovely campus, and the festival is a blast.

Andrew is doing something woderful here and he deserves our thanks, and our support.

-Paul
Reject the null hypothesis.

Comments

  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    Hi Paul,

    Glad you made it again; I just wish I'd seen more of you-it seemed like every time I was around you were in a workshop. Next year we'll have to play a bit more.

    It was a great time, and Paul's summed it up well above, so I won't go over it all again, but I wanted to add this: Jared Engel is the man. Every time I see him he brings more to the table. We were talking right after his show with Lollo and Tim, where he described the rehearsals for the show: before the first set he learned the changes for the upcoming tunes. He learned the changes for the second set during the intermission. It's one thing if you're playing standards, but most of what they did were Lollo's own tunes, and Jared really pushed the band and took some great solo breaks as well. We also managed to fit in some jams after his show with Stephane, which was a highlight for me. He and David (washboard) brought so much musicality to it that everyone else just naturally seemed to play better.

    Of course, hosting Michael for the night was a pleasure, though I was a bit embarrassed when he noticed that the forum is my homepage...it was great, though, to have the chance to sit over a couple of beers and get to know each other a bit better while we talked about where to find the best bagels.

    My one gripe about it all was the Dave Kelbie workshop-Dave himself was great, but we ended up spending all of 40 minutes (of two hours) on playing. The rest of the time was eaten up by people asking about his string gauge, his action, bluegrass jam etiquette (???), Balkan music, etc. In short, every and any thing not related to rhythm playing. Well, the Balkan stuff was interesting, but still. There was so much talking that Dave's guitar spent much of the time leaning against his chair. Sigh...

    All in all though a great time, and I hope to see a lot of you there again next year!

    Best,
    Jack.
    (And if Steve from NYC is on the forum, you played great!-I meant to find you after the porch jam in the rain, but you were gone.)
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    This was my first GJ event of any sort and I am really new to the style, but I found that even a GJ beginner like me could profit enormously from the classes. I left Michael's Gypsy Picking class with the feeling that AT LAST I had something like the right attack, wrist angle, etc. Michael's handouts were good and included things not in his book. When I got home yesterday evening, I pulled them right out and started working through them. The Gypsy Rhythm class was quite good as well.

    The revelation for me was Stephane Wrembel's class which was loosely titled "How to Practice", but which ended up being almost a course in the philosophy of learning and playing music. It was pretty clear that Stephane has really thought out how to learn to improvise, and has broken it down into baby steps. I've already made arrangements to take lessons from him, so that alone was worth the price of admission!

    Best of all, and was one of only a few people around for this, was the jam session that Andreus and Stephane had in the lobby after the Friday concert. Whoa!!!

    Lollo Meier played beautifully, I thought, with outrageously good tone, and a grace and sense of melody that is rare in any form of music. I agree about Jared; what a bassist!

    I didn't jam much, because I am so new to this that I didn't know enough tunes to really avoid being in the way, but I left knowing what I have to learn.

    The setting in Northampton is gorgeous, and Andrew put together an outstanding event. I made a few friends and even got a couple of chuckles over my "Oswald Band" t-shirt. Michael H. now has more of my money than I do, but I am loaded for bear with music and CD's. I will definitely be back next year.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,813
    Hey Michael...nice to finnaly meet you! Thanks for the kind words. We'll do it all again next year....


    'm
  • SorefSoref Brookline, MA✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 94
    I just want to reiterate how great this event was, and extend my own thanks to Andrew. Everyone's right Jared is a monster, and David Langlois has the most killer sense of time; that guy grooves like crazy.

    The concerts were very special. I've heard Tim Kliphuis on a number of records, but nothing prepared me for how dynamic his live performance was, he was absolutely staggering. Lollo's playing was sublime, Dave Kelbie was great, Andreas and Michael set the place on fire, Stephane's trio was amazing, the jamming was too much fun... man, what a weekend.
  • David LangloisDavid Langlois Brooklyn, NY USANew
    Posts: 1
    Hi there,
    This is David Langlois, the washboard and percussion player.
    It's my first time here, this a great website...love it.
    I just wanted to thank Plankity, Pallopenna, Jack and Soref. I'm glad you liked it.
    Hope to see you all soon, maybe in NY...
    David


    pallopenna wrote:
    Andrew Lawrence (and crew) did a fantastic job in staging Django in June this year. There were wonderful clinics and workshops by Andreas, Stephane, and Lollo Meier (these are the ones I attended; there were others as well). One of the things that struck me about each of these was the true generosity and helpfulness of each of the workshop teachers. More than vague suggestions, each clinician had a unique and thoughtful approach to their workshop.

    The concerts were also stellar. Andreas and Michael made a wonderful duo for the first half of Friday night's concert. Andreas pulled out what I'm sure is just a small portion of his bag of tricks, at one point detuning both the low E and A strings to play a sort of slap-bass self-accompanient (I later thought that he should name this "Djacology"). The Stephane Wrembel trio played a firey set that can not be easily labeled as Gypsy Jazz (or anything else for that matter). Bassist Jared Engel and percussionist David Langlois pushed some boundaries (sucessfully) with their music, and I loved it.

    Saturday's concert was Lollo Meier with Tim Kliphuis, Dave Kelbie, and Jared Engel playing straight ahead swinging jazz at its best. Lollo is an exceptionally graceful and melodic player, and Tim Kliphuis swings! His playing reminds me more and more of Grappelli's: not so much in specifics as in swing and charm.

    And to top it off, it was great to connect with people from the list, meet some new people, and be surrounded by the ongoing jams.

    I would encourage all of you to try and come next year. Northampton is a beautiful town, Smith college has a lovely campus, and the festival is a blast.

    Andrew is doing something woderful here and he deserves our thanks, and our support.

    -Paul
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  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,813
    Hi David..nice to meet you in Northampton! Really cool to see your unusual and highly creative approach to percussion...keep up the good work!

    'm
  • plankityplankity CTNew
    Posts: 105
    Hi there,
    This is David Langlois, the washboard and percussion player.
    It's my first time here, this a great website...love it.
    I just wanted to thank Plankity, Pallopenna, Jack and Soref. I'm glad you liked it.
    Hope to see you all soon, maybe in NY...
    David

    David: always great to hear what hear what you have to say and to hear what you have to play... maybe see you at Spirit of Django?

    Norman CT/USA
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