Gypsy Jazz Violin - neglected?

gypsydreamgypsydream Liverpool, UKNew
edited March 2008 in Welcome Posts: 21
Do gypsy jazz fans generally neglect the violin? I bet the new book by Michael Dregni is weighted massively in favour of the guitar; strange, really, as the violin is probably THE gypsy musically instrument. Now, had Django stuck with the violin, we'd probably all be saving up for our Strad!


  • Posts: 597
    Probably, but it's not a major player in other forms of jazz. I can only think of Grappelli and Stuff Smith and Joe Venuti off the top of my head. Oh, and Jean-Luc Ponty. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but as someone who has listened to various types of jazz ... I can't really say that I've run across it too much.

    Sure wouldn't mind hearing more. I'd love to jam with a jazz violinist.
  • KlezmorimKlezmorim South Carolina, USANew
    Posts: 160
    One more: Joe Kennedy

    (I'm wiping away a tear as I write this. This cat was the most patient of teachers. He was tireless. And kind... I'll remember his kindness most of all.)

    Read: ... -0558.html
  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,911
    I too would make the case that the violin is far more neglected in mainstream jazz; many of the Hot Club style bands that spring up include violin. If anything is neglected in 'gypsy jazz', it's horns-something that, to me, has slowed its acceptance and musical growth in the US. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Dregni book focuses on guitar, because even if the violin is at the core of much gypsy music, there's no way to deny that the guitar is at the heart of what we've come to call Gypsy Jazz.

    That said, there are some amazing violinists in the history of the genre, some with amazing stories of their own; I hope Dregni does delve into their contributions-particularly the legacy of Schuckenack's bands.

  • gypsydreamgypsydream Liverpool, UKNew
    Posts: 21
    I think the lack of interest in the history of gypsy jazz violinists - compared with guitarists - is similar to what happened in the blues. In the late 1950s, some young white men became increasingly interested in pre-war blues and start to collect old records and eventually to "re-discover" old blues men. But, they were only really interested in guitar players. Blues pianists were dreadfully neglected. Of course, there will always be less violinists as it's a swine of an instrument to play well! I've tried!
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