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How did the "revival" get underway?

klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
edited May 2007 in History Posts: 1,645
Since getting seriously into GJ over the last little while, the thing I find most astonishing is the incredible number of people all over the world who are into playing this fabulous music, to say nothing of the number of luthiers and companies who are producing Selmac-style guitars.

Does anyone have insight into just how this all got started? Obviously, the various gypsy communities kept Django's music alive for decades and are the core from which this all sprang. But when did it really start to capture the imagination of the wider audience? When did the first Django festival take place? Who were some of the early non-gypsy bands who took up the style? How did it go from being more or less a style practiced by a particular ethnic group to a worldwide phenomenon? Inquiring minds want to know!
Benny

"It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
-- Orson Welles
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Comments

  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator
    Posts: 319
    There are people who know a lot more about this subject than I, but here's a start. I hope Ted and Scot and many others are going to fact-check this to death.

    1. Back in the 70's, the group "Waso" was the first, or among the first, bands to show that QHCF music was still do-able and had an audience.

    2. Jon Larsen had Hot Club Records going, and Ian Cruickshank wrote a little playing style book that got things going in that area. Robin Nolan really added steam to the "how to" movement.

    3. John Jorgenson recorded "After You've Gone," an album of Django-style material on Curb Records here in the US. I think that was a niche record for aficionados here.

    3. John Jeremy's film, "Django's Legacy," showed a young Stochelo Rosenberg and many others in a very engaging way.

    4. Michael Dregni was keeping enthusiasm and awareness alive in the "vintage guitar" and "guitar player" press. He and other collectors kept old material in circulation.

    5. A new generation of luthiers like Maurice Dupont, John Le Voi, Michael Dunn, and JP Favino kept producing extraordinary guitars.

    6. Of course, the playing never really stopped in Europe. Players continued to play, stand-up guys like Patrick Saussois founded labels, and recording technology and techniques of distribution got cheaper.

    7. The internet helped tremendously to globalize things.

    That's what it looked like to me, but I came relatively late. Like all cultural phenomena, this one has lots of causes. I'm sure others will be able to provide correction and detail.

    Cheers,
    Ando
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    Ando-i agree with all you said in your post but people always forget about Raphael Fays--i got into the music in the late seventies and Fays along with Fapy were THE 2 major players until Bireli came along

    What ever people say about Cruikshank he was responsible in the early 80's for bringing Fays, Bireli and Boulou to the UK-and his article in Englands "Guitar" mag about Samois in (i think) 1978 really got me interested in the music.

    Stu
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Maybe alot of this is wrong hopefully Scot or Ted or Someone can fix any errors. There had been gypsies and Gadjo's alike playing Jazz guitar in Paris with a very heavy Django influence since Django was around. They had also absorbed much of the modern american sounds. So there wasn't really a revival so to speak around Paris. There always have been cats playing this kind of Jazz there. I have read that with advent of the tape recorder that other farther flung gypsy communities were able to hear and begin playing this music. I have also read that the Gypsy church had something to do with the revival in those communities as well. I know guys like Schnuckenack Reinhardt was playing swing in the late sixties and is really the start of the German/ Alsatian style. I know guys like Tchan-Tchou were playing in cafe's in the south of France playing JAzz standards, gypsy and corsican folk music and mussette waltz type material.

    These are all very broad and general statements, so please feel free to corect or elaborate anyone. As far as the movement here in the US I am not sure how that all started. I know Guys like Tal Farlow were recording tunes like Nuages a while back. So in my oppinion Django really never left the American Jazz guitar conciousness. Maybe he wasn't as latched on to the way guys like Charlie Christian were but I think he was always respected for the most part.
    Any thats my two cents feel free to correct away.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    Posts: 527
    klaatu wrote:
    Obviously, the various gypsy communities kept Django's music alive for decades and are the core from which this all sprang. But when did it really start to capture the imagination of the wider audience?

    I think that this happened when in germany Siegfried Maeker persuaded Schnuckenack Reinhardt to perform this kind of music not only at private gypsy partys and pilgrimages, but also for a wider "gadjo" public. Keep in mind that this was an important aspect of a civil rights movement of the german gypsies at the end of the 1960´s. This is why Schnuckenack and some other band labeled their records "Musik deutscher Zigeuner".

    I am sure that it was Schnuckenack who was one of the first who made Gypsy Jazz popular and was very much recognized as a gypsy playing gypsy jazz. In the seventies suddenly almost every german record company tried to feature another german Gypsy Jazz Band like Hot Club da Sinti, Hot Club the Zigan, Mike Reinhardt Quintett, Reinhardt-Delis-Stey-Quintett, La Romanderie and so on.

    Best,
    Barengero
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 513
    It shouldn't be a surprise that this music is popular today. It's great sounding and appealing music. It has always been popular, especially with guitarists. Django himself - he was no underground beatnik type. He wanted to be a big mainstream star and he was. Django's records never went out of print and they sold all over the world. Likewise there have always been people playing "Django-influenced" music.

    But what is usually called "gypsy jazz" today - the style of music which is was crafted entirely on the playing of Django, or nowadays, Stochelo etc - is a new variant and dates only from about 1978. It is a stretch to call this music jazz - it is more a type of folklore. This type of music WAS mostly created by gypsies and today they are the best players in this style. But in the years between Django's death and the advent of djangocentric music, there was very little interest in this music by any gypsies anywhere. A lot of people played music that was influenced by Django but through the 50s and 60s you just don't find any music that was an attempt to copy Django's style. Likewise the few gypsies you did find playing jazz music were not copying anyone. Bacsik, for example. Or any of the Ferret clan.

    Today there are more and more players in Paris and elsewere playing Django influenced music which is not djangocentric - like Patrick Saussois or Kamlo or certain players in the USA. I think that over the next few years we're going to see a renaissance of the kind of jazz guitar that was popular in Paris in the 50s and 60s...

    There is a thread called "Tradition" in the "Gypsy Picking" section and another called "Gypsy Jazz - or Gypsies Playing Jazz?" in the "History" section, where this subject has been discussed at great length. Ben, all the "historians" weighed in on this subject in those old posts and rather than have us say it all again, you really should go there and read the posts. There's good fact and passionate opinion to be found there.

    Best
    Scot
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    Thanks for the tip on the posts elsewhere, Scot. I'll check those out. And thanks to everyone for your very informative posts as well. Not only interesting histiory, but they have also given me some names of more people that I should try to listen to.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    i don't know about gypsy-jazz revival, but i do know that i saw marc ribot do a few sets of all django stuff at the knitting factory about 8 years before "sweet and low down," and that's what sparked my interest.
    Www.alexsimonmusic.com
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
    http://alexsimonmusic.com/learn-gypsy-jazz-guitar/
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 887
    I would agree that the #1 thing that caused the revival was the advent of tools on the Internet such as the Yahoo forums in 1999. The advent of Microsoft Windows 95 and Netscape browser in 1995 also probably had a huge impact.

    There are lots of reasons why the movement came back but the Internet is the reason why it came back with prominance...
    ---
    "I want to party like its 1939!"
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,645
    I always knew computers were good for something, now I know what it is!
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • pippopippo New
    Posts: 9
    We mustn't forget the role of Tony Gatlif's movies, first in France and
    afterward in Europe, concerning the gypsy people : LES PRINCES,
    LATCHO DROM 1993(with Tschavolo and Dorado Schimtt) , GADJO DILO 1998, and SWING 2002 (always with Tschavolo Schmitt).
    In their beautifuls soundtracks the jazz manouche has a basic role.
    Regards, Pippo
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