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Gypsy School: Django's Legacy

Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
edited October 2005 in History Posts: 614
Hi All,

I hope the autumn months are treating you all well.

I was speaking with Michael the other day and we were talking about the trends in the contemporary scene, and he mentioned that he sold maybe 5 copies max of this CD set and I was pretty shocked.

Whereas I love the contemporary scene I obviously have an affinity for the old school, the players who were playing and recording post Django, and pre Dorado. As people whine about the lack of originality in todays scene, they ignore the masters which inspired and awed todays masters. There is so much wonderful music out there is this style that people seem to be forgetting about. Bousquet, Jacques Montagne, Joseph Reinhardt, Lousson, Crolla, Matelo and Baro and Sarane Ferret...the list is long and the output in some cases is fairly prolific. As the original LP's become increasingly more expensive and rare, this set offers people who lack the original recordings that chance to hear some of the hottest players this style has ever seen.

The best part of this set is that we're not mired in the same sense of tradition that the contemporary scene is. No repetitive licks or riffs, no one attempting to sound like another player, just guitarists who either played with or new Django, doing their thing their way.

Joseph Reinhardt's adept, fleet-fingered style is a joy to listen to. His sound was always no bullshit, straightahead, anchored by his original compositions which are all delightful.

Jacques Montagne's aggressive, in-your-face improvisations, his version of "Night in Tunisia" is perhaps my favorite.

Baro Ferret's Theloniesque valse-bebop - where are people trying to move in this direction today?

Sarane Ferret's light, straightahead trad sound, another angle of the Django style.

Bousquet's right hand of doom, so strong and clean it's amazing. Although it's not represented here he was the absolute fastest player this style has every seen.

Henri Crolla's cool sophistication.

Tchan-Tchou's rustic virtuosity played his most famous composition "La Gitan". How could people play this tune without having listened to the original version played by the composer himself?

Eugene Vèes playing lead guitar in a fine group...

Babik Reinhardt's amazing straightahead Gypsy bop from the 1960's.

Every member of this group who proclaims to love Gypsy Jazz must own this set end of discussion. You owe it to yourselves and the music to give this a whirl, and to make this easier, here is a link to the set:

http://tinyurl.com/amh79

If for no other reason then to hear these legends play and another, addictive branch of Jazz Manouche.

Best,

Ted

Comments

  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Must agree. This cd set is amazing I bought it almost two years ago (i think it was that long ago). Really cool way to hear alot of the older cats and some newer cats. Since it was brought up. What album is the Babik Reinhardt track off of? is it available anywhere? first cd alone is worth the price of the set in my oppinion.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
    Posts: 614
    CalebFSU wrote:
    Must agree. This cd set is amazing I bought it almost two years ago (i think it was that long ago). Really cool way to hear alot of the older cats and some newer cats. Since it was brought up. What album is the Babik Reinhardt track off of? is it available anywhere? first cd alone is worth the price of the set in my oppinion.

    That track is off an ultra obscure EP, of which I've only ever seen one copy for sale. Not sure if the EP was culled from an LP release, but I'm investigating that now.

    Best,

    Ted
  • François RAVEZFrançois RAVEZ FranceProdigy
    Posts: 280
    Babik's track 'Nuits de Saint Germain des Prés' comes from a 1967 record by RDC records [(Babik Reinhardt (gt) Georges Arvanitas (organ) Jacky Samson (bass) - Charles Saudras (drums)].

    François RAVEZ
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 212
    Bought the School CD the first time I saw it--Alain had it at DFNW a year or two back--and have all the others mentioned in Michael's post, plus every other piece of string jazz history I can dig up. For those whose ears extend beyond gypsy jazz, there's a wonderful Proper 4-CD box set, "Hittin' on All Six," with hard-to-find tracks by players like Carmen Mastren, Irving Ashby, Allen Reuss, Dick McDonough (and some Django and Ferret material we all already have). Also recommended: "Swing To Bop Guitar- Guitars In Flight 1939-47" on Hep, which has some examples of pre-fancy-gizmos Les Paul showing how much Django he'd absorbed.

    Now if I could just find a copy of the Town Hall Concert with George Barnes and Carl Kress--
  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    Tchan-Tchou's rustic virtuosity played his most famous composition "La Gitan". How could people play this tune without having listened to the original version played by the composer himself?-Ted

    I read this and was practicing the opening lines from La Gitan at school before my big band rehersal and then I remembered I had Tchan-Tchou's version on my iriver. So I listened to it and had a thought. Having only really worked with Romane's transcription and from a Rosenberg trio one. Does it seem to anyone else that Tchan Tchou's version from Guitare Partie sounds much more human to play. It is still virtuosic and amazing but it doesn't seem so speed demoney (that isn't a word) than do other versions. maybe I am wrong.

    P.S. Thanks for the info on the Babik track it is very cool. reminds me of some Renee Mahiles or Elek Bacsik.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
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