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Gypsy Waltz Songs for Jams



  • Waltzes are not really made for improvisation. At least not the waltzes coming from the musette repertoire (Indifference, Montagne Ste Genevieve, Passion etc). You have freedom in the interpretation but the melody is set (it is like in trad music). If you really want to improvise you can do so in the C part but it has no sense to improvise over the A or B part. IMO doing so (unless you manage to create a melody as beautiful as the original one in your improvisation) just shows a lack of knowledge of the style.
    But as mentioned there are quite a lot of Broadway songs with a waltz rhythm that could be fit for a jam session.
  • DragonPLDragonPL Maryland✭✭ Dupont MD 50-XL (Favino), Castelluccia Tears, Gitane DG-250M and DG-250
    edited March 2018
    I suppose whether a waltz is appropriate for a jam or not depends on the main melody and over all sections.
    Montagne Ste Genevieve, Indifference, La Gitane etc. are long set melodies which just getting through them takes more than enough "soloing".

    Anniversary Song, Dark Eyes were waltzes, but pretty much anything with a simple melody can be played in 3/4 time and improvised over. Jimmy did a killer Dark Eyes waltz:

    Nothing wrong with Montagne Ste Genevieve though, did that one the other day :)

  • geese_comgeese_com New Barault #105
    Thanks for all the replies everyone.

    I think the first one I will try will be Under Paris Skies (Sous le Ciel de Paris) in an AABA format.
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Anastasio, Godefroy Maruejouls
    We usually get our accordion player to do Indifference and let him blow the hell out of it. It normally gets a great response from the audience. Another waltz I love is Chez Jacquet, nice simple tune but nobody ever wants to play it - not sure why.
    always learning
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    What about Panique? Just kidding of course. La Partita and La Foule are great to improvise over. Other favorite waltzes for jamming are High Time (Grateful Dead), Tuesday's Gone (Skynyrd) and Dreams (Allman Brothers). Play on B)
  • geese_comgeese_com New Barault #105
    I called out Under Paris Skies at the jam last night and it went very well. Other people seemed to enjoy it. The accordion player of course knew how to play it. It was a nice change of pace compared to most of the other songs we usually do.
  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Gitane DG-370, Wide Sky PL-1
    La Foule is a “short form” waltz that is fun to jam over. However, as others have pointed out, people not accustomed to playing in 3 will trip over themselves a little.

    But, with a little coaching (the 1 is the focus), and at least one strong rhythm player, I believe we should get players used to this feel.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    My band plays Shostakovich Waltz #2...
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    My favorite waltzes are Douce Joie (Gus Viseur), Bistro Fada (Stephane Wrembel), Indifference (Tony Murena), and Valse De Bamboula (Angelo DeBarre).
  • t-birdt-bird Portland, Oregon Castelluccia Nuages, Dupont Nomade
    I'm in a two piece with an accordion player. We start Dark Eyes in 3/4 and then break to 4/4. It makes it a lot of fun. We also do Under Paris Skies and, as mentioned, it's pretty easy to improv on.
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