New website - Django War Quintett

PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
in Repertoire Posts: 403
I know that, these days, gypsy jazz is mainly the music of the Quintett du Hot Club de France, the Quintett with violin.
However, you probably know, and maybe you like, the Nouveau Quintett du Hot Club de France, the Quintett with clarinet that Django created in 1940.

It wouldn't be true to say that there is no information on Internet about this Quintett, but the information is scattered on different forums, webpages etc.
So I decided to gather all I could find in a website.

On this website you will find:
- the complete transcriptions of the recordings in C for the guitarists, in Bb for the clarinet and the tabs (you need to download the free software TuxGuitar to open the tabs). I want to emphasize that the transcriptions are as accurate as possible: the theme is what is actually played, not something coming from a realbook. The Django parts are the transcriptions of Ben Givan. You ll find on this website some tunes rarely played.

- the charts and playalongs to practice. The playalongs come from Laurent Courtois of the band Nuages de Swing, a French band dedicated to the music of the Nouveau Quintette. I also recorded some that were not available before.

- the lyrics of the tunes of Django that were translated into songs (Swing42, Nuages..) and the recordings of these songs by French singers of those days.

- the history of the different Quintettes: how and when Django met the musicians, where they played, why they decided to take apart... You ll find some pictures thanks to Teddy Dupont and Francois Ravez (nothing exceptional but it is always cool to see these nice pictures)

- biographical sketches of the different musicians to know what they did before Django and what they did after (because, even if Django is the Boss, his musicians were pretty good). Thanks to Scot, you ll be able also to hear some rare recordings of these musicians where you can actually hear them better than on the Quintett recordings.

Hope you ll find it useful


So far, only the years 1940 to 1943 can be accessed. I am still working on the transcriptions of the other years. I will update it as soon as possible



  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 403
    And sorry that the texts are in French on the website but with Google translate, you should be able to get it (I may post a translation later).
    Anyway, if you dont want to read, you can still enjoy the transcriptions, the charts, the play alongs and the pictures!
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    edited August 2016 Posts: 414
    Fantastic! I for one, like Django's later work way better than the early stuff. To me the early stuff can sound a bit corny, like say Dixieland jazz. By the 40's, Django had grown as a musician, his note choices in his solos were more "jazzy", using blue notes and the like.

    I think Bireli Lagrene is very influenced by Django's later work as well (It shows in his playing). Late period Django deserves its due. Thanks for doing this!
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 362
    Lovely! So many good things for us Django fanatics these days! First the website with old press clips and now this. I for one absolute love the "middle period", the first half of the 40's, with all the musical experimentation coupled with just exquisite swing guitar playing.

    I have just discovered the tunes Speevy and Cavalerie (I never bothered to buy all the records in the Fremeaux complete series because I already had cd's that covered most of the content of some those 2 cd-boxes).

    Anyway, Speevy and Cavalerie have become real favourites lately. They are very similar indeed. But there's enough time between them, six years, to think that Django might have forgotten both the title Speevy and exactly how it went (recorded only once in 1937 and not issued on record) and in trying to recreate it in 1943 came up with something just slightly different and gave it new name.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,883
  • TubaphoneTubaphone Kansas Mateos Django
    Posts: 27
    This is awesome!

    I had already been benefiting from the Bb transcriptions Pierre has made available, but this takes it over the top. Transcriptions, grilles, lyrics, photos... it's a one stop shop.

    Thanks, Pierre. This is a great resource, especially for my wife and me. She has been inspired to take the clarinet back up after many years of not playing. Your work will certainly be beneficial for us.
  • Oh c'est fantastique! Cela amène les larmes aux yeux. La langue n'est pas un obstacle! (Utiliser Google Translate).
    Merci beaucoup!!!
  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 403
    I am really happy if you find it useful!
    Matteo it is funny your comment about Speevy and Cavalerie knowing that you dont have the Fremeaux boxes because it is exactly the comment they wrote about these tunes in the booklets!!
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    edited August 2016 Posts: 362
    Well, it's perhaps not the most original thought. On the other hand, I read somewhere that some experts say that both Speevy and Cavalerie were recorded in 1937, at the same date. But the recording of Cavalerie was lost. I have no facts to lean on, and I'm certainly not an expert, but it just feels a bit unlikely to me. In the light of what you just told me, I say I'd rather agree with Fremeaux.
  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 403
    Actually what is said in Fremeaux is a mix of your version and the other version: (but it is just hypothesis, the truth is not known)
    Cavalerie was recorded in 1937 and lost (I think it is sure that it was lost before being released) but the guys who were present at the session thought it was the best tune Stephane and Django ever recorded (according to Charles Delaunay)!
    The hypothesis is that in 1943, Delaunay said We need one more tune for this session, Django, would you mind playing this tune that was so great Cavalerie. Django says Er ok, I think it was something like this. But it is been a while so he mistook the melody of Cavalerie with Speevy. The differences between the Cavalerie of 1943 and Speevy of 1937 were only due to differences of interpretation and the time which had gone by.

    So according to this hypothesis, we dont actually know what Cavalerie sounds like. We only know Speevy.

  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    edited August 2016 Posts: 362
    Ah, that's a plausible explanation! Cavalarie from 1943 is in reality Speevy. And Cavalerie was lost and remains a mystery.

    As far as I know, Speevy wasn't issued either, until much later. What a fascinating session; two great recordings that weren't used!

    As far as Speevy go, they might have preferred Vipers Dream and Brick Top, which both are similar in style. Or maybe they felt Speevy sounded too much like the Ellington number you mention on the site.
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