I recently received my copy of Gypsy Rhythm and would like to give you a review of this unique book which is unequalled in the world of jazz/music instruction. The 280 pages thick book is divided into 10 chapters, lay out and notation are on the same high level which we have come to expect of Michaels publications. After a concise history of "la Pompe" Michael goes hands on in chapter two, dealing with proper right and left-hand technique, pick-angle, posture etc, all the necessary fundamentals. Chapter 3 and 4 deal with the rhythmic and harmonic devices which make up the fundamentals of this style and as a logical conclusion chapter 5 deals with the different styles within "la Pompe" (Dutch, Alsace, German Parisian etc) Even if you were only to learn the first five chapters you are already a more than adequate accompanist in the Gypsy style. Chapter 6 and 7 deal with advanced rhythmic and harmonic concepts in a very clear and musical way, all examples are included on the 3 cd's so you can hear all the different techniques being played, which is essential in learning, music notation on its own is not capable of getting all the subtleties.
Chapter 8 goes into the bass/chord style which Django also pioneered in his duet recordings, this style later grew into a complete genre in the hands of players like Joe Pass and Lenny Breau.
Chapter 9 deals with the "comping" of Django and all the elements of his style of accompaniment are covered thoroughly. Having come this far Michael concludes with chapter 10 which in itself could be a complete book. Here Michael transcribes 10 standard songs of the genre (Night & Day, Minor Swing, Douce Ambiance etc) in both basic/intermediate and advanced styles so all levels of abillity are covered.
Some people will find $ 65 for a book expensive but there are actually several years worth of study in this book, it will take you from the level of complete novice to master of the genre so go out, buy the book and praise Michael Horowitz for doing such a great job which is unsurpassed in the history of musical instruction.