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Claire de Lune - Django or Debussy?

Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
edited June 2011 in Repertoire Posts: 629
Does the Clair De Lune composition we know from Django have any relation to the Debussy classical composition? It certainly doesn't sound like the piano etude I learned as a kid, but Django was certainly aware of classical themes, adapting them to his own purpose (cf Danse Norveginne, based on a Grieg theme, which he, in turn, may have borrowed from Scandanavian folk music).
Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
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Comments

  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    Clair de lune (the one Django recorded) is written by Joseph Kosma, the composer of - among many other great tunes - Autumn Leaves.
  • Mark_PMark_P New
    Posts: 18
    kimmo wrote:
    Clair de lune (the one Django recorded) is written by Joseph Kosma, the composer of - among many other great tunes - Autumn Leaves.

    Holy crap I didn't know Kozma composed Autumn leaves! :|

    Pathetic, really...
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    I was surprised, too

    Here's what Wiki has to say:
    "Autumn Leaves" is a much-recorded popular song. Originally a 1945 French song "Les feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves") with music by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert, the American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics in 1947. Jo Stafford was among the first to perform this version. Autumn Leaves became a pop standard and a jazz standard in both languages, both as an instrumental and with a singer. Yves Montand introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 for the film Les Portes de la Nuit.

    A little more digging finds this notation from Bireli's "Move" CD
    Clair De Lune 4:39 X
    Written-By - Etienne Beaurouge , Joseph Kosma

    But no relation to Debussy's piece, and not a Django composition?
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • TimmyHawkenTimmyHawken Lansing,MINew
    Posts: 118
    I have wondered about his too. Another one along the same vein is "Django's Dream" or "Reverie." Now I know that this is also a Debussy piece that actually does sound similar to the Django version, and that there is a also a jazz piece that is almost the same as Django's called "Reverie" that I know Errol Gardner played, but I can't remember who that tune is credited to, but I do remember there are lyrics. Should Django's "Clair De Lune" and "Reverie" (or "Django's Dream") be considered orginal Django tunes?
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    Tele295 wrote:
    But no relation to Debussy's piece, and not a Django composition?

    No, simply Kosma.
    Should Django's "Clair De Lune" and "Reverie" (or "Django's Dream") be considered orginal Django tunes?

    No, former is Kosma, latter Debussy.

    Reverie you can also find in Sonny Rollins' Tenor Madness, where it's called My Reverie and it's credited to Larry Clinton. This kind of "transformation of ownership" of classical melodies was not that unusual. For example one radio recording of Danse Norvegienne (Fantaisie, Nice Jazz Festival 1948) is credited to Reinhardt and Grappelli.
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    If memory serves me correctly, Robin Nolan also made the Danse Norvegienne mistake and credited to Reinhardt and Grapelli in his gig book
  • thickpickthickpick ✭✭✭
    Posts: 142
    Robin credits Danse Norvegienne to Django in his gig book. But the Harry Fox Agency (which handles the rights to many, many compositions) credits it to Jean Reinhardt (aka Django) and Edward Greig.
  • Tele295Tele295 San Buenaventura (Latcho Drom), CA✭✭✭ Gitane DG300, D500
    Posts: 629
    It was Robin's credit of Clair De Lune to Django that made me wonder in the first place.

    Not to beat up on poor Robin. It's still a fabulous book!
    Jill Martini Soiree - Gypsy Swing & Cocktail Jazz
    http://www.jillmartinisoiree.com
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 158
    redblues wrote:
    If memory serves me correctly, Robin Nolan also made the Danse Norvegienne mistake and credited to Reinhardt and Grapelli in his gig book

    I don't know about The Gig Book, but Fantaisie (Danse Norvegienne) is credited to Django and Grappelli in Mike Peters' Django Reihardt Anthology, which was just about the only book available on Django's compositions before the turn or the millennium. Sometimes it only takes one mistake, if it's popular enough (as this book still is) to spread around and multiply.

    http://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/eco ... ology.html
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,165
    Even French LPs of the sixties credit Fantaisie (Danse Norvegienne) to Django and Steph so we can't blame Mike Peters.
    Jazzaferri
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