I noticed that Michael is stocking Ninine's new CD. Do yourselves a favor and buy it. His is a fresh Parisian
view at the current state of Gypsy Jazz. Ninine's legacy is strong! His father Mondine started playing at La Chope in 1960, and before that he was playing at a different café in the fleamarket. Ninine played rhythm for Vivian Villerstein and Tchavolo (who is a Parisian) for 10 years before Tchavolo's relocation, and plays host to all visiting royalty to La Chope. In short, Ninine represents the legacy of Parisian Gypsy Jazz.
This new CD feature mostly Ninine's compositions. These are great and highlight all of his influences - Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Blue Note era Kenny Burrell, Grant Green in addition to Django, Mondine, Jacques Montagne and the rest of the Parisian Gypsies - his heritage. He plays an electric Epiphone archtop with heavy flatwound strings for a mainstream archtop tone (his son Rocky and nephew Mundine on acoustic rhythm guitars, a Dupont and Busato respectively). The CD moves and grooves, with sympathetic accompaniment, inventive arrangements and creative playing. Ninine isn't a speed demon because he doesn't need to be to get his music across. For highlights, head on over to http://www.djaz.fr/Jazz/DJ560-2.htm
and stream the tracks. This CD is manouche, but contemporary and really, really good. The chord movements in melody to "Mon Fils et Moi" are great, and no other gypsie alive could play it and make it sound like that.
I'm sure some will be bummed out at the non-traditional approach to this CD, but try and think of it in this way. Whatever you guys are into now, Ninine has done about a thousand times before. When speaking with him in Paris, he told me that he plays jazz music, which is exactly what he does. In this regard, he is like the 1st and 2nd generation - they don't want to copy Django, but use his influence to make their own music. This is the essence of the Parisian sound. Be conscious of tradition, but in no way does one need to be defined by it.
When I go to Paris, the first stop will always be La Chope and Ninine and this CD is a definitely Desert Island material.