Audio - Page 3

Tchavolo Schmitt Live (Ziguener Fest 1978): Sweet Georgia Brown

Tchavolo Schmitt is one of those musicians who can say so much with so little. His music has an earthy, down home feel that many of the young, highly technical players lack. He always plays with a strong and aggressive attack and makes every note count.


Tchavolo Schmitt is originaly from Paris and was a regular at the flea market jam scene at La Chope. Apparently he ran into some trouble and moved to the Alsace region of Eastern France. Despite his Parisian roots, he is still strongly associated with the Alsace style.

Tchavolo is in top form in this live recording from 1978. He uses every trick in the book to keep the audience entertained during his solo which is over a dozen choruses long. He plays the last chorus all on the open high E string by simply detuning the string to the appropriate chord tone.

For more Tchavolo Schmitt see his CDs: Memoires, Swing 93, Alors? … Voila!, and Gipsy Jazz School .

From the collection of Ted Gottsegen.



MP3: Sweet Georgia Brown

Stuart Blagden: Valse des niglos

Check out British guitarist Stuart Blagden’s version of an old Manouche favorite:

Valse de niglos

Django’s People Documentary

This fantastic documentary includes interviews and music of  Biréli Lagrène, Fapy Lafertin, Boulou Ferré, Vivi Limberger, Tcha Limberger, and many others.



mp3: Django’s People

Bireli Lagrene at 12 Years Old: I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

Bireli Lagrene is one of the most accomplished jazz guitarists active today. His career, which started around the age of 10, has included performances with some of the world’s top musicians. He has shared the stage with fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, fretless bass pioneer Jaco Pastorius, and accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano. Bireli is a master of numerous styles including bebop, fusion, and swing. He is also a multi instrumentalist with phenomenal skill on guitar (electric and acoustic), electric bass, and drums.


However, Bireli’s musical roots lie in the music of Django Reinhardt. Like most Sinti children, he was immersed in Django’s music from a very young age. While growing up in the Gypsy camps of the Alsace region of Eastern France, he developed incredible technical and improvisational skill. His talent was quickly recognized, resulting in performances across Europe as a young as age 10.

The following mp3 gives a glimpse into the musical life of Sinti children. Jamming is part of the every day fabric of life in Gypsy camps. There is no set time or place, rather the music just happens all day, and often all night. Sinti, most of whom play at least a little, spend much of their day visiting neighbors. Inevitably the guitars come out and music starts. While many Sinti guitarists do practice seriously, many develop a high level of technique through these informal jams that are a part of the fabric of Sinti life.

On the following mp3 Bireli is jamming on the popular standard I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. The rhythm guitarist is most likely his brother and bandmate Gati Lagrene. Take note of the aggressive “German” style rhythm playing favored by Alsatian guitarists.

There is a segment on the new Bireli Lagrene DVD which shows him playing solo guitar around this same age. For more info see: Bireli Lagrene DVD

Also check out Bireli Lagrene’s Gypsy Project CDs: Gypsy Project



MP3: I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

Django’s first son: Henri “Lousson” Baumgartner playing Nuits de Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Django’s first son was Henri “Lousson” Baumgartner (1928-1992). Like Babik, Django’s second and more famous son, Lousson was an excellent guitarist. Since Lousson was older he actually played with his father on occasion and even accompanied him on numerous recordings in the 1940s. Like many of the second generation players, Lousson played more contemporary styles of jazz on an archtop electric guitar. Despite Lousson’s modern bebop approach, his Gypsy heritage is evident in his technique, repertoire, and sense of aesthetics. The following home recording of Lousson playing Django’s bebop style tune Nuits de Saint-Germain-des-Pres demonstrates his largely unsung talent. Lousson never recorded commercially.


This recording made during a rehearsal sometime in the 60s. Please excuse the poor quality. There are numerous drop outs through out.

MP3: Nuits de Saint-Germain-des-Pres

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