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  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    Hi Dennis, it was nice to meet you in Samois and I hope it wasn't the last time.
    dennis wrote:
    finally , adrien moignard and sebastien giniaux who play together, are the most amazing duo i've EVER seen in my life.... the musicianship is very high, but the way they interact is in my opinion is unequalled and if i dare say unheard of in this style.... these guys are at the exact same level of musicianship and they play as if they were one, it's incredible.... at samois, they gave the most incredible performance i have ever witnessed in my life because of the interaction... words cannot describe it....

    Fully agree! The day I visited the Samoreux campsite I caught them playing stuff like Donna Lee, Made In France etc. Unbelievable interaction! Then Matcho Winterstein joined them for a couple of tunes and I kept wondering why don't I have to pay for tickets for this amazing show. I had heard Sebastien many times before in the previous years, often with some accordionist - and he's always been excellent. This was the first time I heard him play with Adrien, and it was just awesome.

    sidenote: Matcho Winterstein tried to start Jobim's Wave (in G) with them and later a couple of times with other players, but he never got to play it because nobody knew the tune.
    dennis wrote:
    robin katz , roberto rosenman and others were witness to my bireli-like, paganiniesque filming skills (the lightning speed at which i'd change positions to follow the trade fours, how i'd flawlessly predict when a cool thing was about to happen from either guitarist and therefore capture it) to a point where adrien tried to turn away so he could hide his licks from me, but i was too quick for him....HAHA

    Reminds me of the stories from the early 1900s New Orleans in the book of Nats (Shapiro&Hentoff), where some bands would intentionally play wrong/badly, if they suspected that competitors could be watching; or they would hide their fingerings for instance with a covering blanket or turn their backs. Some refused to record, because they were convinced that others would steal their tunes and licks and - subsequently - also their gigs.
    dennis wrote:
    those bastards can be sure i'll be stealing their ideas (as soon as i get the tape from ben)

    And next year in Samois I'll seriously bribe you to share your catch.
  • ClayClay Tulsa, OkNew
    Posts: 50
    finally , adrien moignard and sebastien giniaux who play together, are the most amazing duo i've EVER seen in my life.... the musicianship is very high, but the way they interact is in my opinion is unequalled and if i dare say unheard of in this style.... these guys are at the exact same level of musicianship and they play as if they were one, it's incredible.... at samois, they gave the most incredible performance i have ever witnessed in my life because of the interaction... words cannot describe it....

    i couldnt agree more (aside from the duo of boulou and elios). That concert was amazing , i have the video from ben and its amazing , adriens playing is so mature its fairly absurd. :wink: I definatly have alot to learn from the both of them , but now i have plenty of material to work with.
    those bastards can be sure i'll be stealing their ideas (as soon as i get the tape from ben)

    you sound a little hostile dennis , lets not have any manouche-warfare![/i]
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    (Since posting has been light on the forum recently, I'll use that as an excuse to write a ridiculously long post.)


    If there are seven degrees of separation between Django and, say, Moby, then the following is two or three degrees removed from our hero. But there are some connections.

    Read on if a.) you are bored at work, or b.) your arm aches too much to pompe any more. Turn back now if you are looking for Gypsy Jazz commentary.


    I wanted to mention one of my favorite albums and give a little background on the artist behind it. The album is 'King Tears' (MCA 1990), the artist is Walter Hyatt.

    I think this album would appeal to a couple of different kinds of people here: those on the lookout for material to add to a Hot Club set list (American Popular Song/Standards-type material, that is), and those who enjoy "countrypolitan" records (that could loosely be defined as sophisticated, torchy country from the late 1950s and early 1960s, a la Patsy Cline). Also, there are a couple of tastes of Django and of mid-century Paris here, though they are strictly seasoning, not the main course.


    Hyatt, who died in the 1996 Value Jet crash, will be remembered as a Texas-based songwriter and inspiration to Lyle Lovett and others in the Austin scene. (Lovett produced "King Tears".) Hyatt wrote 8 of the 10 songs on the album, and cut covers of "Ruby" (Ray Charles cut a well-known version of this--why it isn't more widely done is a mystery to me. Perhaps because so few male standards singers are around to sing it) and Charles Trenet's "Que Reste-T-Il de Nos Amours" (see, we're already creeping towards Django here!). The album is nicely paced with rhythm numbers and ballads, but the overall vibe is heartache and torch music.

    Some of Hyatt's material, like the opener "Tell Me Baby," could easily pass for 1930s-40s music. In fact, the first sound you hear on the album is a an acoustic guitar playing a C6 chord in a very subdued pompe, which is then joined by another acoustic guitar playing fills--Hyatt's long-time collaborator Champ Hood (sadly, also no longer alive). An upright bass, brushed drums, and jazz piano fill out the arrangement. The tune definitely sounds like classic American popular music. But there are echoes of Django, who was, after all, a bit fond of American music himself. A couple of songs later on 'King Tears' comes a great rhythm number, the gently swinging "This Time Lucille." Like the opener, it could also work as a Hot Club number.

    Next up is a masterful version of "Ruby", a Hyatt standby for years, done as always with a light, "Si Tu Savais"-style pompe and acoustic guitar obligatos. Then, a harmonically sophisticated western-swing number, "Outside Looking Out." This song comes from the repertoire of Hyatt's old trio, Uncle Walt's Band, which featured Hood on lead (acoustic) guitar and fiddle, and David Ball on upright bass and singing lead and high harmony vocals. (You'd never guess this is the same David Ball who put on a big cowboy hat, dropped his voice a couple of octaves, and had a mainstream country hit with the song "Thinkin' Problem.") "Outside Looking Out" has brief and effective solos from Hood and bassist Craig Nelson that show Hyatt valued the swing half of the western swing equation as much as the western half. A live version of this song was released on the Uncle Walt's Band CD 'An American in Texas Revisited' has Hood stretching out on guitar and dropping some of his better swing licks (which he played on a regular flattop guitar).


    All three members of Uncle Walt’s Band grew up in Spartanburg, S.C. They tried their luck in Nashville before settling in Austin, where Lovett would open for them at the start of his career. The group had a wide ranging repertoire in its early-1970s heyday. To quote the liner notes to ‘An American in Texas Revisited’:

    "By the mid-1970s a typical band set could include English ballads, Sly and the Family Stone's 'Hot Fun in the Summertime,' Professor Longhair's 'Tipitina,' plenty of Bob Wills and Bill Monroe, jazz standards, honky-tonk tunes, Fats Domino favorites, unaccompanied black gospel, old-time country duets, Irish fiddle music--and well-crafted originals showing the influence of all those fields."

    They also did a great version of the Django arrangement of "Undecided" with their amazingly tight-three part harmony laid over the Hot Club's 1939 riffs (this was on their first, self-released Lp, but like the other cover tunes on that record, it didn't make it to the CD reissues on Sugar Hill records). Like all their performances, “Undecided” sounds like it was cut live in the studio, and they do the song justice with just two guitars, bass, and their voices. Also on that first Lp is their knockout version of "Ruby", thankfully redone for 'King Tears' (though Ball's thrilling harmony vocals aren't as prominent on the latter).

    Uncle Walt’s Band never made it to a major label, though it did show up on Austin City Limits once or twice. (Hyatt also received a posthumous ACL tribute show featuring Lovett, Marcia Ball, and a bunch of his other songwriting fans and friends.) The group was together from the early 1970s through the early 1980s. The members played occasional gigs thereafter, and were featured on one track of Lovett’s “Large Band” record doing backup harmony. Hood and Ball both apear in supporting roles on Hyatt's two final records.


    Hyatt put out one solo record prior to 'King Tears' on his own Lespedeza records (I've never heard this record), and in 1993 released his last album, 'Music Town.' ‘Music Town’ is also a successful showcase for his songwriting, but it will be less relevant to Hot Club fans as it has a much more overtly honky-tonk/country dancehall vibe. (Ironically, on this album’s cover, Hyatt holds a very cool looking oval hole archtop guitar, but alas, its only a tease--there's not much jazz to be found here.)

    Two compilations of Uncle Walt material were released by Sugar Hill in 1991 (their first Lp, ‘Blame It on the Bossa Nova’ is a classic and, if there were any justice in the world, would be reissued on CD complete). These two compilations definitely evoke the seventies and the singer-songwriter movement. Because Walter and Co. had impeccable taste and were top notch harmony singers and arrangers, these records hold up pretty well, and mostly manage to avoid the stylistic dead-ends hit by some of their more lyrically self-absorbed peers. These records also have a lot more swing (and swing guitar leads) than most singer-songwriter records of the time.

    As for ‘King Tears,’ it needs no apologies or qualifications. It’s got very subtle production, tasty, swinging musicianship, and strong material at its center. It clocks in at a little over a half hour and like the John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman album, always leaves me wanting more.


    Neil Hébert
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