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Listening to the Old School

Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
edited March 2005 in History Posts: 611
Hi All,

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.

Best,

Ted

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!
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Comments

  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    Hi All,}

    Stu, I'm not picking you, I promise!




    Hi Ted
    Yeah!???...you sure about that?





    [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.]


    Ted
    Considering i'm older than you and probably forgotten more about Music than you'll ever remember i find your attitude arrogant( as in the orignal greek meaning 'misplaced confidence')
    Actually my "flavor of every month" is and always will be Django!



    [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.]



    Ted.....
    As you've never even played with me or sat in with me just HOW do you know????


    [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). ]

    .....and just HOW old was Django when he made some of his greatest recordings????? 24?.....25?...and Parker;and Armstrong;and Coltrane
    Jazz actually IS a young mans art;;all the major innovators were in there twenties when they made their most important innovations..... including Django;where does THAT leave your sadly rather 'lazy' derivative argument now Ted?


    Ted--consider ,for one moment, the absurdity of what your position is!

    You've never even met me!!!!!... never mind played with me!!!!!
    If you had played with me you'd know that i was,for a long time,amicablely ridiculed at le Quecumbar for always wanting to play ballads--ie i love soulful players like Django,Tcha and(if u give him a situation where hes not forced to play at ridiculous Moreno like speeds)Matcho as well.


    actually i NOW have a lot of technique on the guitar for what it matters--(which IS something i've really worked hard for)
    i'm not bragging here --its just the truth.
    As a matter of fact i've played with some of the greatest guitarists in the world--not just in your area of expertise,this little world of Gypsy jazz,but in Argentina- Juanjo Dominguez,Cacho Tirao(Piazzollas guitarist);Juan Falu etc...btw all guitarists renowned for their love of soul.
    Played last week with my friend Guinga from Brasil---do yourself a favour and listen to him--he is imo the deepest harmonist on the guitar alive today--not 'flash';not a speedy Gonzalez.

    Of course if you'd actually met me you'd realise my tastes are not of the speed freak but there u go...



    [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.]




    Well ted--as you know i don't need to rely on the recordings of 2 years ago anymore!
    In fact--If Michael has a little cyber room i'll send him my version of "Valse des Niglos" for you ALL to hear....i think you'll like it Ted!!
    Michael?




    -[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 -- ]


    WOW! ...you i HAVE to hear! ;-)



    ..for god sake Ted!!....
    I was into this Music when you were still probably tucking into your early Aerosmith recordings
    First met
    Raphael Fays(who i played with at the Festival de Vendome de guitare in 1999) in Stockport nr Manchester in 1981--he'd just married an english girl.He was playing with a stimer;Louis was on rhythm.
    Saw Waso in 1984;Boulou in 1987
    Ask Jon Larsen--i wrote off for the Baro and matelot CDS--years before the internet arrived.
    You're a Johnny come lately my boy!!
    I'm sure if we meet we'll like each other but FOR NOW you come over as ,dare i say it,...... a little jealous.
    Not ONE comment about my mp3s from you!!!????...really Ted!
    It had to be said.
    With respect
    Stu

    PS re-Pouvilles rhythm playing--just because somethings orignal doesn't mean its good!
    ..Look at Morrissey from "The Smiths" for christs sake!
    Stu

    PPS--well this should liven things up abit
  • Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
    Posts: 611
    Hey Stu,

    Thanks for responding. As an FYI, in responding I decided to not respond to areas where you defended yourself as a player, because they're not germaine to our topic, and it's where my post was misinterpreted as an attack on you, which it wasn't.
    Hi All,

    Stu, I'm not picking you, I promise!
    stubla wrote:
    Hi Ted

    Yeah!???...you sure about that?

    Aboslutely. This isn't personal and I'm not trying to single you out, you brought something up which has actually been bothering me for a long time.
    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.
    stubla wrote:
    Ted Considering i'm older than you and probably forgotten more about Music than you'll ever remember i find your attitude arrogant (as in the orignal greek meaning 'misplaced confidence')

    Probably not, but that's ok. As for "misplaced confidence", I spent last night on my usual Thursday evening gig, playing with Charles Mingus' pianist/arranger and a former recording and touring bassist for Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Sonny Stitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones and others. There is nothing misplaced about that.
    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.
    stublag wrote:
    .....and just HOW old was Django when he made some of his greatest recordings????? 24?.....25?...and Parker;and Armstrong;and Coltrane
    Jazz actually IS a young mans art;;all the major innovators were in there twenties when they made their most important innovations..... including Django;where does THAT leave your sadly rather 'lazy' derivative argument now Ted?

    Sure Stu, I concede your point. But neither you nor I are those players. We're mere mortals trying to make out way. You are new to this music and this style of playing and by your own admission you (all of us who work hard at it) change and grow and improve each year. If you were a Django my arguement would be moot :wink:

    What I read for your post was the typical young lion who judged a book by its cover, dissing an old timer because one of his two studio albums recorded 30 years isn't flashy enough for you. As I said, this wasn't a diatribe against you, but of people like you who seem to switch their position depending on their mood.
    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.
    stublag wrote:
    Well ted--as you know i don't need to rely on the recordings of 2 years ago anymore! In fact--If Michael has a little cyber room i'll send him my version of "Valse des Niglos" for you ALL to hear....

    Yes Stu, exactly what I mean! Don't judge Maurice (or anybody) by one or two recordings...try and judge him from every example available. If my only exposure to Coltrane was "Sun Ship" and I made up my mind that I hated it, than I'd be missing the beauty of "Central Park West", which I love. That's all I'm trying to get across.

    I'm not saying that people can't have their own opinions...but saying that an artist like Maurice sucks is a lot different than saying "I don't like his playing because I think its......" Remember, there are people out there who love Maurice as much as you love your favorite players and I know you, you wouldn't know whether to shit or go blind if someone dissed one of your favorite players....I know this from having been a recipient of your ire before :lol:
    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 --
    WOW! ...you i HAVE to hear! ;-)

    Come on, Stu. You're a musician, and someone who obviously hears music instead of just listening to it. Capisch?
    stublag wrote:
    ..for god sake Ted!!....
    I was into this Music when you were still probably tucking into your early Aerosmith recordings....You're a Johnny come lately my boy!!

    Stu, gimme a break, will ya? You've got fucking 10 years on me and happen to have been lucky enough to have been living in Manchester when Fays was playing. It's not like you heard and spend the rest of your waking life trying to get hip to the music.

    I may be a "Johnny come lately", but seriously Stu, the fact that you're looking for trades with me should say something but my understanding of the music. I'm asking you questions about old school players...you're asking me so you can back off on the posturing.
    stublag wrote:
    I'm sure if we meet we'll like each other but FOR NOW you come over as ,dare i say it,...... a little jealous. Not ONE comment about my mp3s from you!!!????...really Ted!

    Stu, I have no problem with you, your playing (from what I've heard) or anything else about you.

    Jealous?! about what? I play with jazz legends every week, in regards to gypsy jazz music, I've been lucky enough to play with all of my heroes. I am that you live a lot closer to Paris than I do, but we do the best we can.

    What MP3's? what are you talking about?
    stublag wrote:
    PS re-Pouvilles rhythm playing--just because somethings orignal doesn't mean its good!..Look at Morrissey from "The Smiths" for christs sake!
    Stu

    :lol: :lol: :lol: True enough. Pouville is an acquired taste, I came to appreciate it after playing with Ninine and Jeannot. Maybe it's the history buff in me, because no one else is playing like that, but the reasons why I like it is simple. It's different and unique. It propels the music along in a different way than the average pompe rhythm. They are both valid, IMO, and certainly both worth of furter study.
    stublag wrote:
    PPS--well this sholud liven things up abit

    As always!

    Best Regards, Stu.

    Ted
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    Hey Stu,Sure Stu, I concede your point. But You are new to this music and this style of playing and by your own admission you (all of us who work hard at it


    Ted
    What do you mean? New to this Music?
    Did u read my post or not?

    It's not like you heard and spend the rest of your waking life trying to get hip to the music.


    I've been listening to this Music for 25 years--as a matter of fact i've been obsessed with it!!!!!

    What MP3's? what are you talking about?


    Jeez Ted !--where have you been! ????

    Go Here and (hear) and (listen)

    http://www.godefroyguitars.com/en/music.html

    ...........notice the special emphasis on mindless speed :-)
    i hope you like them,seriously.


    BTW-Ted
    It IS because i respect and like your writing that i do value your opinion ALOT--doesn't mean to say i have to agree with everything though.
    Can you send me (PM) your email--i want to send you some of more MP3s

    After what i've been thru the last year(its a long story!) please allow me to be a little bit proud.
    Peace you scoundrel(...and even younger lion!)

    See u in Samois??? ......pistols at dawn :-) ???
    Stu
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 887
    I have to say that "le Train Gitane" is an absolutely incredible track on that disc but its my second favorite after "Peanut Vendor" which puts a crazy smile on my face when I think about it... :-)

    I enjoyed your conversation guys... lets keep this train on the track!
    ---
    "I want to party like its 1939!"
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 264
    Open question to the entire forum:

    How do you listen to old recordings?

    Do you evaluate them based on how close they come to today's standard? Do you evaluate them based on what else was happening when they were recorded? Do you find yourselves appreciating recordings without enjoying them? Do you find yourselves enjoying recordings for reasons you can't justify?

    I see an analogy to my love of silent films. When I go to screenings, I'm often annoyed by people snickering at the obviously outdated acting and writing. To me, they're writing off two important things: The emotions those outdated styles are expressing and the odd little unexplored corners of filmmaking that often pop up in early cinema. With that being said, though, there's danger in falling too deeply in love with those films; there have been genuine advances in filmmaking since the silent era that allow for both more subtlety and grandiosity, and for more complex stories.
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    Rod,

    a) On an intellectual level I listen to old recordings with respect to their historical importance and their contemporary musical context.

    b)On a deeper level I just listen for something that speaks to me, and people like Maurice and Joseph certainly do because the beauty and emotion in their playing is so much more powerful than most of today's players.

    Sometimes I listen to recordings which I can appreciate but don't really enjoy - generally those that stimulate me only on an intellectual level (due to things like innovation, etc.)

    BTW ditto on the older film comments - I was at a screening of Cocteau's Belle et Bete the other day and these morons in the front row laughed all the way through it.

    Some people do just write off older things because they lack the knowledge of historical context to appreciate them intellectually, or are so caught up in certain ways of hearing things that they are unable to hear beauty in something different, which I think is what Ted was talking about. Certainly something like that must be happening when a person refers to Maurice Ferre as a "crap soloist".
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,764
    Cuimean wrote:
    Do you evaluate them based on what else was happening when they were recorded?

    Good question. Understanding the context in which a particular musician made music is so important. One of the most important things to keep in mind with a lot of the under recorded guys from the 2nd generation (i.e. Maurice Ferret, Tchan Tchou, Bosquet, etc.) is that they most likely were very uncomfortable in the studio. This style of music was no longer popular music by the 1950s. Record companies didn't care. So these guys spent their careers playing low prestige gigs in small cafes and bars. Their job was to entertain small audiences with some cozy nostalgic popular tunes. Many of them had the potential to be great artists, but there was no support for that. So they never got comfortable with recording. The few recordings that exist are usually pretty stiff. But the live bootlegs paint a different picture.

    I've heard some live Maurice Ferret and Joseph Pouville. These guys kicked ass! In fact, I play Maurice's arrangement of La Foule. Just awesome! If I had just heard his LP Train Gitan I wouldn't be that impressed. But he obviously was not at his best on that recording. Additionally, the record label probably had them do some of the kitchy stuff like La Bamba to sell records. Again, no one cared about Django in that era.

    Patrick Sasouiss stopped by our jam session here in Seattle a while back. I talked to him for a long time about Maurice Ferret. He had nothing but the utmost respect for him. He commented that Maurice had a highly original style and was well respected by all the musicians in Paris.

    Anyway, context is so important. The time, place, and medium the music is presented in are all factors in its meaning. Some guys sound amazing on record, but are dull live. For many Gypsies it's the opposite....you absolutely have to hear them live. Recordings often don't capture the sheer physicality of their playing.

    -Michael
  • BreezeBreeze New
    Posts: 12
    Pistols at dawn, please! With any luck both of you will aim true and we can be spared anymore of this. The problem with so many "experts" is they skim all the fun off for everybody else. Y'all ought to know better, didn't your mamas teach you anything?
    Somebody wake me when it's time to hit.
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Breeze, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you here. I think discussions like this are important. God knows This stuff happens all the time among friends. I can't count the number of times I have argued about music or movies or politics with friends over whiskey and beers untill we are blue in the face and horse but we still come out friends in the end. I don't see much difference here. I think its important that we discuss things like "old school" cats especially here in a history forum. I know theese types of discussions would get swallowed on other forums, and I am glad they can get some Keyboard time here.

    In response to Rod's inquiry I try to do two types of listening active and passive. I would consider my active listening to be what was described as Intellectual listening. I am trying to pay attention to what is happening musically. Harmony, melody contour of lines things like that. Passive is a kind of driving, walking to class background type thing. Sometimes that kind of listening(passive) includes all types of music (including The Smiths. I have gained a healthy taste for Indie-rock working at college radio station :lol:) Even If I am not a Fan of certain recordings I will actively listen to them and usually can gather something about it I like and am better able to describe what it is I don't like about it.

    Any way I don't find discussions like this harmfull or petty they help us all in our understanding of music and how we as musicians listen to it.
    my 2 cents
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
    edited March 2005 Posts: 611
    What MP3's? what are you talking about?
    stublag wrote:
    Jeez Ted !--where have you been! ????

    Go Here and (hear) and (listen)

    http://www.godefroyguitars.com/en/music.html

    ...........notice the special emphasis on mindless speed :-) i hope you like them,seriously.

    Oops....sry Stu, I have been away from the boards for awhile. I do like them, Stu, a lot. The production was very nicely done, your balance with the other instruments is great, and from what I've heard you've surrounded yourself with really solid players. Most importantly, you're playing is really good. I hear all the work you've done - the technique is there, but you're using it as a crutch. I'd really like to hear more!
    stublag wrote:
    BTW-Ted
    It IS because i respect and like your writing that i do value your opinion ALOT--doesn't mean to say i have to agree with everything though.
    Can you send me (PM) your email--i want to send you some of more MP3s

    Of course, Stu, it goes without saying. I'll PM you.
    stublag wrote:
    See u in Samois??? ......pistols at dawn :-) ???
    Stu

    Maybe I'll be there. It's just so expensive to go from where I live. However, I do want to get over to France at some point over the next year, if not Samois, than Paris or Germany. Maybe a drop into London is in order! Let's take this offline.

    Best,

    Ted
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