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Why do we never play (fill in song here)

anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
in Repertoire Posts: 561
Hey Fellow Django-philes...

Last night, while rehearsing with my gypsy jazz group, we decided to play "limehouse blues", and it occurred to me - Not only can I NOT remember a single time anyone jammed on that song at either of the last 2 Django in Junes, BUT I have never seen it performed at a single concert by any of the top players.
Another notable song I rarely ever hear is "St louis blues". In fact, anytime I've ever suggested we play it at DIJ, at least a few people have never heard it, and don't know how to play it. Considering it is, in my opinion, one of Django's greatest solos, I am surprised at the lack of interest it generates.

So what tunes do you like to play that never seem to get Jammed on in group Gypsy jazz jams ?

Anthony
MichaelHorowitz
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Comments

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited March 2014 Posts: 1,711
    Good topic, Anthony!

    Well, Limehouse (or Slimehouse, as one of my Dixieland bands calls it) is sufficiently uptempo to discourage a lot of us mere mortals...

    St. Louis blues, according to some of his contemporaries, was Django's all time fave tune, and he delighted in improvising on it for dozens of choruses at a time. But once again, for us mere mortals, playing convincing blues while staying in the GJ idiom seems like it should be easy enough, until you actually try to do it!

    Anyway, both these tunes are ones that I don't mind soloing over, though I can't honestly claim to knock either of em out of the park...

    here are some standard tunes I like to play that are pretty easy, and hopefully they may become more popular at Django in June in the future, because to date I've had a lot of blank stares when I suggest them at sessions...

    Out of Nowhere G
    I want to be happy C
    Just Friends G
    Ain't Misbehavin' C or Eb
    Sunny Side of the street C
    I Ain't Got Nobody F
    Tea for Two F

    Will



    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • MaximusVolumusMaximusVolumus ✭✭ Holo
    edited March 2014 Posts: 56
    Bireli typically played limehouse at a nice medium tempo, which isn't discouraging at all. A great tune which should be called more.
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Yeah... it seems like the most popular jam tunes are the ones that lend themselves to wide variances in jam size and player experience.

    Songs like Micro and Rythme Futur are great songs, but have difficult heads. They require at least one very accomplished player in the jam who can do the outro even if the song has sped up. Other songs like Cherokee and Paprika, have little surprises in the chord changes that tend to flummox people who can't cold-read changes at tempo.

    Others, like La Mer & Wave & Viper's Dream are also fantastic songs, but in a jam setting of any size, they tend to turn into marathons due to their tempo or form. Take a 16 bar form, multiply by 12 soloists and start it at 100bpm and finish at 60bpm… and everyone in the jam is going to need a drink by the end.

    So, those are some great songs that maybe aren't great jam songs. But there are also regional differences in common jam repertoire due to… ummm… who knows... probably at least partially due to what the best known bands in each area are playing at that time. For instance, I've noticed that there are significant differences in the common jam tunes played in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco & Los Angeles despite the fact that the Djangonuts in these four cities tend to know each other and move (or at least travel & gig) back and forth quite a bit. But variance is good… If we were all playing the same songs, it would get old quickly ;-) One of the really cool things about going to a DFNW or DJiJ or Samois etc., is getting out of the comfort zone and learning new tunes & techniques.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,239
    Great topic. Some ones that come to mind for me:

    - Swing 41. An absolute gem that lots of people don't even know about?!
    - Django's "other" bolero. No one plays it! But it's great and so much less boring that the troubled aunt bolero.
    - Blue lou .. so rarely played that I mistakenly thought it was a LDDLH original .. *hangs head in shame* ... same goes for "mixture" *double shame*
    - Clouds, yours and mine, jersey bounce, stop, I's a muggin', stockholm, what kind of friend ... (stop me anytime..)

    Sometimes it must be regional, and I think these things come and go like fashion. Limehouse is played heaps over here in Europe. It was pretty well played down under aswell.
    I also like st louis blues but don't play it, maybe I'll learn it before DIJ.
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    i really like to play Someday My Prince Will Come, but apparently it doesn´t belong to the Gypsy Jazz grand opus. Except Just One of Those Things, Cole Porter doesn´t seem to get much air either. Neither does Arthur Schwartz. Sunny Side of the Street is another one i like to play.
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Hey Will ! My group just started playing "out of nowhere" ! GREAT tune if you ask me. I agree that Limehouse is usually played too fast. My group plays it at about 10 - 20 BPM slower than django did.

    We're also experimenting with Pennies in heaven and Russian lullaby. Russian lullaby is one of my new favorites due to Fappy's recording of it. I' hoping to get some people to play it this year at DIJ
    Anthony
  • anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
    Posts: 561
    Hmm Wim,

    I just gave a listen to swing 41 and I have to say great call. I didn't know it by name, but when I heard it I instantly remembered and like it.

    This year we're going to bring some of this t DIJ.

    anthony
  • rimmrimm Ireland✭✭✭✭ Paul doyle D hole, washburn washington
    Posts: 605
    We play limehouse a lot over in ireland, sheik of araby, coquette, swing 42 all get regular outings at our djangodjamming.i would love if lambeth walk, 'oui' and 'Stockholm ' were thrown in though.
    I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    Someone found my set list…

    Love them, all songs my Dad taught me 45 years ago.
    Their all request if you ever practice at Nursing Homes.
    B T W
    Don't know if you can find a more appreciative audience.
    LOTS of FUN

    pick on
    pickitjohn :peace:
  • JonJon melbourne, australiaProdigy Dupont MD50B, '79 Favino
    edited March 2014 Posts: 391
    Vous qui passez sans ma voir, Le soir, Mire Pral, Paprika, September Song, and shortish versions of Appel indirect.

    +1 Roses of Picardy, Yours and Mine, and Swing 41.
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