Review of Unaccompanied Django (The Quarter Note – Dusty Strings Newsletter)

The Quarter Note – Dusty Strings Newsletter – Summer 2004 – by Clyde Holbrook

Django Reinhardt’s musical fame has always rested upon his achievements as a single note soloist in a group context. However, this Gypsy guitar genius was also an excellent composer and performer for the unaccompanied solo guitar. So much so that he even earned the admiration of the father of modern classical guitar, Andres Segovia. Unaccompanied Django provides highly detailed transcriptions of 16 of Django’s solo guitar pieces such as Tears, Improvisation, and Nuages. These transcriptions, which are for both fingerstyle and pick-style guitar, are with out a doubt the best transcriptions ever done of Django’s music. Each piece includes both TAB and standard notation. To help you develop correct Gypsy jazz technique, Michael has included Gypsy style left hand fingerings and right hand picking suggestions. These suggestions are based on the field work he did among master Gypsy guitarists in Europe. In addition to Django’s music, there are two transcriptions of solo guitar music by Stochelo Rosenberg, the contemporary master of Gypsy jazz, and three Gypsy Etudes which are designed to teach harmonic and melodic devices used by contemporary Gypsy guitarists. Students of any level will benefit from this excellent collection which is easily the most thorough study of Gypsy jazz to date.

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