Stu, I'm not picking you, I promise!
Stu's comments on Maurice & Joseph (he's known for this sort of thing) brings to point an interesting situation I find myself in quite often in sharing my collection. Lots of people simply don't get it. Because Maurice Ferret doesn't play like Matcho or whoever Stu's "flavor of the month" is, he's not good.
Suffice it to say if someone like Stu or anyone else in this or any other online chat group attempted to sit in with someone like Maurice, they'd get out-classed and out-played. If not technique wise, than in terms of taste and tone and style. Experience will destroy technique any day of the week - you can be the fastest, flashiest player on the planet, but if you can't say something, who the fuck cares? (I'm not disrespecting Stu's playing, I'm making a point of experience and age versus youth). I've got lots of video of all of Stu's heroes that he touts as the best and brightest and the funny thing is, they'll do the shittiest note-for-note, sped-up copy of Django's solo on a tune, and butcher it. Sometimes they are outstanding, but othertimes, less than decent. The point? Every player has their strengths and weaknesses and it's important to know this before passing judgement.
Yes, I do agree with Stu that Maurice's album "Hommage a Django" is anything but a tour-de-force. However, I strongly feel there is a lot of beauty and elegance in "Le Train Gitan". Who knows, maybe someday someone will actually still have a copy of the clips of the tracks I recorded two years ago with my old band and judge me on those. God, I hope not, because they are in no way representative of where I'm at now - let alone in another two years! Likewise, I know Stu has some tracks out there that are less-than-perfect and I wonder how he'd feel if people judged him soley on those.
Personally I think the people who make claims like this against the old guys - describing them as "kitschy", "square", "un-hip", "simple", are simply too caught up in their own trip of who their listening to at that particular time. I used to be guilty of this same thing but in a different way. Gypsy Jazz is funny because its so new, that people are just starting to digest the contemporary players that they are unable to accept the old school guys for what they are without thinking of them in terms of todays players. And with so many CD's available with such ease these days, it so easy to oversaturate and in a way over-stimulate. In this way, I'm real thankful that I came up before all the books and CD's, because I had 4 years to listen Angelo's "Gypsy Guitars", Moreno's "Yochka", the Rosenberg's "Seresta", Fapy's "Fleur de Lavende" and others - to digest it, to internalize every riff, lick and nuance and dynamic -- to really understand the music on that CD before I actually get ahold of another one. Now, it's death by over-consumption. I was ready for the old school - starving for it, striving to learn where the music came from. It doesn't matter whether or not I liked what I was listening to, because I understood what it was. Likewise, there are things that I didn't like then which I really like now.
I remember I brought a super rare item over to a friends house several months ago. I said "Dude, you have to listen to this...it's amazing!" - his comments were "Huh...it's so fast..." and he wasn't interested. I remember thinking...how could this be? How could someone who is seemingly so into this music turn such a blind eye on something so special? He came back a few months later wanted to hear it again, stating that when he first heard it, he was just too into the contemporary scene to appreciate it. Music should be judged for what it is...not what it isn't.
Something to think about.
PS: Stu, if you think Pouville's rhythm is sucky, I'd suggest you actually try to play it, it time, and correctly. It's unique and at times somewhat special considering he is also accenting bass notes. Just because it's different doesn't make it bad. Jeannot plays this way with Ninine at Clarrion, and it sounds great!