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New, Long Awaited Matelo Ferre Release on Hot Club Records!!

Ted GottsegenTed Gottsegen Rowayton, CTModerator
in History Posts: 615

Jon Larson at Hot Club Records has done it again! Basically a vol. 2 of the "Tziganskaia" album, this is a compilation of the Matelo's singular voice as a soloist from in the 1950's and 1960's. Backed by what was considered then a 'modern' rhythm section: bass, drums, vibes (or piano) with rhythm guitar; Matelo sounds very American on these tracks, with that cool, earthy 1950's guitar sound. Playing either electric (single pick-up Royal arch top) or acoustic the repertoire includes some great standards (I Surrender Dear, Pennies From Heaven, Out of Nowhere), five heretofore unreleased tracks written by Django and many of Matelo's own compositions. Also included are Baro's original 'Valse Bebop' sessions with Jo Privat from the 1940's. There is so much to learn from these sides and it really is a must for anyone interested in this style, or interested in learning what was going on in Paris at this time.

I've had most of these tracks in vinyl for 10 years, but haven't listened to them in so long because I don't have a turntable anymore ;) The remastering is fantastic and the sound quality amazing; except for one or two items that might be private recordings.

Downloadable via iTunes for a paltry $10. with a great pdf of the liner notes. Support the independents and let Jon know that there is a market for the reissues. You won't be disappointed!


  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    Thanks for the heads up, as soon as I get to a faster internet connection I'll pick it up.

    pick on
    pickitjohn :peace:
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 250
    The same tracks are available on Amazon for $8.99, though there's no mention of the PDF of notes. Is that an iTunes exclusive? (I don't use iTunes and don't particularly want to.)
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    @Russell Letson

    hope this helps, missing some pictures,

    MATELO FERRÉ – Rare Recordings
    1 COMO TU (Valdrespi) 3’02
    2 MARTA (M. Simons) 2’48
    3 DÉSORMAIS (Boulou Ferré) 2’58
    4 QUISIERA (Baratas - Areta - Leon) 3’29
    5 EN VERDINE (Django Reinhardt) 2’51
    6 DJALAMICHTO (Django Reinhardt) ‘53
    7 CHPILE T’CHAVO (Matelo Ferré) 2’37
    8 TCHOUCAR WAGO (Matelo Ferré) 2’28
    9 GIN-GIN (Django Reinhardt) 3’05
    10 LA VALSE DES NIGLOTS (Gusti Malha) 3’11
    11 TI-PI-TIN (María Grever) 2’40
    12 ROULE TA BOSSE (Matelo Ferré) 2’56
    13 DORS, DORS, DORS (Matelo Ferré) 2’54
    14 LA PETITE MARIE (Traditional/rondeau) 3’03
    15 BLUE GUITAR BOOGIE (Matelo Ferré) 2’59
    16 PENNIES FROM HEAVEN (Arthur Johnston) 1’58
    17 DJOUNGALO (Matelo Ferré) 2’07
    18 OUT OF NOWHERE (Johnny Green) 2’52
    19 I SURRENDER DEAR (Duke Ellington) 2’51
    20 ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE (Jerome Kern) 2’33
    21 PANIQUE (Baro Ferré) 2’31
    22 LA FOLLE (Baro Ferré-Jo Privat) 2’10
    23 DINALIE MINEURE (Baro Ferré) 2’14
    24 TURBULENT ZOË (Baro Ferré) 2’35
    25 LA FOLLE (Baro Ferré-Jo Privat) 2’29
    26 BALLADE NOCTURNE (Baro Ferré) 2’31
    27 MA THÉO (Django Reinhardt) 2’58
    Remastred from the original 78/45 rpm by Morten Lund.
    Special thanks to Alain Antonietto.
    ©2014 Hot Club Records®

    There was a time when the jazz was young and the guitar was not a part of it. Then Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti opened up for a sophisticated yet hard swinging jazz on strings, but the pioneers of the jazz guitar did not come from the US like the rest of the early jazz masters. In France Django Reinhardt (1910–1953) changed the evolution of the jazz guitar, and Oscar Alemàn (Argentina) and Robert Normann (Norway) were both jazz guitar pioneers in their own right. Then there were the amazing Ferré brothers in Paris.
    Baro, Sarane and Matelo Ferré were three of the more eccentric characters in the early days of what has become the contemporary “gypsy” jazz genre, or jazz manouche. Without these three the jazz guitar would have been different today, and if Django gave the guitar “a human voice” (Jean Cocteau), it was Matelo who taught it to sing. All the three Ferré brothers plus their cousin Challin Ferré, played rhythm guitar with Django, and they all contributed to the characteristic QHCF sound. In addition they all had individual jazz/guitar projects before, besides and after Django.
    Jean Pierre Matelo Ferré was born in Rouen, France, on the first of December 1918, the youngest child of a gitan gypsy family. Following in his brothers Baro and Sarane’s footsteps, he started playing the violin and banjo as a child in a dance hall. As musette was coming into fashion and Matelo’s fame as a talented musician grew in the Parisian musical world, he was soon asked to replace Gusti Malha at the side of the famous accordionist Emile Vacher at the Pigalle Abbaye de Thèléme. At the same time, he was working for Vétese Guérino’s orchestra at La Boîte à Matelots.
    Matelo Ferré
    A short while later he turned to the guitar and at the age of thirteen joined the well-known Rumanian gypsy violinist Lione Bajac’s orchestra at the Casanova. There, thanks to the prodigious cymbalom player Mitza Codolban, Matelo came to understand the richness of the central European traditional forms of music. The following year Matelo met Django and shortly after started integrating elements from Django’s complex style into his own. From that time on, Matelo was by the sides of the most outstanding gypsy violinists of the time: In little time Matelo became sought after because of his musical ability and his perfect knowledge of the repertoire. He would go from one Parisian spot to the other, always on the move like the true gypsy he was, from one Russian cabaret to another, playing at the Shéhérazade, the Tokay, the Monseigneur, the Dinarzade, the Tsarevitch, and the Etoile de Moscou. All the historical places.
    In Michael Dregni’s book “Django—he Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend” (Oxford University Press, 2004) he writes about a historic meeting: “Django met the frères Ferret while living in a Montmartre hotel during winter 1931. One day, Django’s second wife, Naguine, stepped out of their room to find a diminutive Gypsy waif with his ear to their door. Stammering his apologies, the boy said he had been passing by when he heard the music and stopped to listen. Naguine invited him in and introduced Django, who was laying sprawled out on his bed, smoking a cigarette, and picking his guitar, improvising melodies. The boy introduced himself as Matelo and said that he and his brothers were all guitarists too. Yet after listening to Django’s playing, Matelo solemnly pledged to throw his own guitar away. Instead, Django invited Matelo to retrieve his instrument and the two began playing together, Django teaching the boy the theme “Sugar,” the first jazz melody Matelo learned.
    The Frères Ferret had ventured that autumn from Rouen to Paris to play their guitars in the capital’s bals and cabarets russe. As musicians and eldest siblings, a position of grave respect among Gypsies, Django and Baro became best friends and also great rivals. All three brothers—along with their cousin, the honorary fourth brother, René “Challain” Ferret, took turns accompanying Django in his various Quintettes as well as leading their own ensembles. Sarane had his Swing Quintette de Paris modelled after Django’s group; Matelo and Challain played jazz as well as traditional Gypsy music. Baro created his own eccentric signature compositions, a melding of musette waltz and bebop that were labelled valses bebop in an attempt to describe their avant garde form. These were not waltzes to which to waltz. The melody lines led by Baro’s virtuosic guitar playing took surprising turns down dark alleyways and into dangerous backstreets. Odd harmonies followed the theme like an ominous shadow, Baro adding stabbing chordal accents and startling obligatos behind the accordion. The results were impressionistic songs of a strange, unnerving atmosphere—true jazz jewels, unlike anything else ever recorded anywhere.”
    Today the two famous albums by Baro and Matelo Ferré—Swing Waltzes
    and Tziganskaïa + the Django Waltzes—are mandatory listening for
    anyone aspiring to become a guitar player. We have all a lot to learn from
    Baro’s daring compositions and Matelo’s unique tone on the guitar. There
    are, however, other rare recordings, single tracks and EPs, with Matelo
    and his brothers, and 27 of these tracks are now for the first time on
    this album collected and digitally remastred with optimal audio for digital
    distribution and streaming. Some of these tracks were a gift from Matelo
    to yours truly in 1985, some came from Alain Antonietto in Paris, and the
    rest are from the fleamarket in Paris.
    The discographical details have in most cases been uncertain and/or
    missing, so I leave this historical important info to a later update of this
    project—in order to get the music available now. Nevertheless: Tracks
    1-4 is featuring Laro Sollero on guitar, and tracks 5–8 (originally published
    as “Jean “Matelot” Ferret et sa Guitare Joue le inédits de Django
    Reinhardt”, 1960) is featuring René Mailhes (guitar). Tracks 12–15 are
    “Matelot Ferret et ses rythmes, 1950” and tracks 16–20 (recorded 14
    Mars 1955) is “Matelot Ferret Quartet” featuring Jacky Cnude (piano).
    21-27 are bonus tracks: seven Baro waltzes, in authentic lo-fi audio, but—
    again to quote Michael Dregni—“unlike anything else ever recorded
    Matelo Ferret also created his own music. From years playing tzigane
    melodies in the legendary Russian cabarets in Paris, he forged a style of
    traditional Eastern European gypsy music played on a non-traditional
    instrument, the guitar. He displayed a brilliant and colourful mastery of his
    instrument, and we are reminded that he was one of the few gypsy guitar
    players to develop his own personal style in the days Django was at his
    best. Matelo Ferret died of cancer 24 January 1989, and is buried at the
    cimetière de Bagneux (Hauts de Seine), France. His sons Boulou and Elios
    Ferré are two of the greatest guitar players of today.
    I had the great privilege to be Matelo’s friend during his last five years,
    and he was during those years my greatest inspiration. Now it is my hope
    that these rare recordings will continue to inspire new generations in the
    future. Matelo Ferré was one of a kind—a great poet on his guitar.
    Oslo, January 2014,
    Jon Larsen

    pick on
    pickitjohn :peace:
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 250
    Thanks, Pickit--I got the tracks from Amazon, but they don't include the PDF. (And their download system is almost as annoying as iTunes'.)
  • BarengeroBarengero Auda CityProdigy
    edited March 2014 Posts: 527
    Great collection indeed. Unfortunately there is one fine recording missing. It's from the same recording session as "All the things you are" and it is called "Trop de Joie". The original title is "Cancao do mar" by Ferrer Trinidade. The song is a "Fado-Fox" and was sung by Amalia Rodriguez. Matelots recording was released on the LP "Super Festival-Dancing No. 14 - Dansons Chez "La Dame de Pique"", Disques Festival. The point is that this recording is not mentioned on the LP Cover!!! But it is on the record. Very sophisticated playing by Matelot.

    Best regards

  • Al WatskyAl Watsky New JerseyVirtuoso
    Posts: 440
    Its a cool compilation. Got mine from iTunes . No problems. Came with the track info and some pictures and etc. well worth the price.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 543
    Hi Barangero - thanks for the info regarding ""Trop de Joie". In my discography I have this listed with "All the Things...", "Ton Mariage", and "Mi Madre". Were these tunes also on the "Super Festival-Dancing No. 14"? Was this disc an LP or an EP? Just Matelot or part of a compilation? And you're quite right, excellent playing on this session.

    On this collection of recordings, I always felt like the 2nd version of "La Folle" which was coupled with "Ballade Nocturne" might not have been Baro at all. Do you know anything about these two?

    In the series of tunes from 12-15 on this list, there were another 8 or 10 in this sequence from the "Diner et Musique" series, hopefully we will see these added later on. Most of the tunes are original and all very interesting.
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 731
    Just a precision: neither Emile Vacher nor Matelo Ferret ever played at the Abbaye de Thélème in Place Pigalle (East of Place Clichy) but certainly Emile Vacher, and probably Matelo, played in the "Bal de l'Abbaye" situated at 4 Rue des Batignolles (West of Place Clichy) moreless one mile away and a different atmosphere
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited January 2017 Posts: 731
    Here's one of the many adv for Emile vacher in rue des Batignolles...
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 223
    We can also get a good quality download direct from the Hot Club Records vending site:

    Good price, booklets included and I presume much more of the price makes it way to Jon Larson. I've got quite a bit from there over the years and always hassle-free.
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