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Vous aimez le jazz manouche ? A Closer Look at Today's French Jazz Manouche Scene

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  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    dennis wrote: »
    ............ but I never understood the idea that Django played Gypsy jazz and that he created Gypsy jazz by fusing "traditional Gypsy" and jazz. Django was simply a jazz musician, and I think he really considered himself that way, first and foremost. He just simply happens to be a gypsy.
    I could not agree more. There is no doubt whatsoever that Django considered himself a jazz musician which is exactly what he was, albeit a unique one. He was a jazz musician who happened to be a gypsy. The "traditional gypsy" music baggage is something that has been added in recent decades based on a retrospective interpretation of the development of gypsy jazz.

    Matelo Ferret stated very clearly that Django was unique and his music came from Django alone and had nothing to do with any gypsy music cultural heritage.

    JazzaferriA Gent
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    edited April 2014 Posts: 465
    What Dennis and Teddy said. Samson Schmitt and Ninine Garcia both consider themselves Jazz guitarists. There are many pronouncements made by Gadjos about "Gypsy Jazz" that are both pompous and untrue.
    Teddy DupontJazzaferri
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    What Dennis and Teddy said. Samson Schmitt and Ninine Garcia both consider themselves Jazz guitarists. There are many pronouncements made by Gadjos about "Gypsy Jazz" that are both pompous and untrue.
    Absolutely.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    I hear what you guys are saying and would certainly classify Django as a jazz musician of the highest order. But how do we classify this acoustic, string jazz that we are playing? It certainly isn't the same as classic jazz, 'straight ahead', bebop, big band, smooth, whatever the title. I think that the title of 'gypsy' (I guess more appropriately 'manouche') is nothing more than a way of differentiating it from other of the many forms of jazz and putting a 'brand' or label or category on it of sorts. It doesn't imply that it has anything to do with 'gypsy' except that the originator was a manouche. But if the average American came up to me and asked "I've never heard this before, what kind of music is this?" (a lot of them do since it is not widely heard here) and I said 'manouche' jazz I would have to go into a long discussion of what that word meant. If anyone has a better label I'm all for it but in the mean time it's still GJ (for lack of a better term???). Or I could just tell them that I invented it....(JK)
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 465
    Bones, there is certainly a subgenre of Jazz that is now called "Gypsy Jazz". It is best defined very broadly, as there are many different players within the genre.

    Django, while the major inspiration for this subgenre, was not part of it. It did not exist in his time. Gypsy Jazz is still jazz. When I hear guys say they play Gypsy jazz but hate jazz, I feel that I have just heard someone contradict himself. Not too sharp, IMO.
    Jazzaferri
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    String, yes it absolutely is jazz. Just a different feel and instrumentation. But as we know, there are lots of different kinds of jazz. It just seems like the default 'label' that has been assigned to this stuff is GJ. Not in any kind of negative way. And not attributing any roots in traditional European/middle eastern music. It's just the name that stuck. Personally I would prefer to call it jazz manouche (sounds cool) but I suspect that few people here in the states would have any idea what I was talking about. Conversely, people in this 'genre' are branching out and progressing and I think that is really cool and I also think that on a certain level continuing to call it GJ or jazz manouche is kind of a tribute to the great man who started it all, at least it is in my mind.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    Bones wrote: »
    ...... and I also think that on a certain level continuing to call it GJ or jazz manouche is kind of a tribute to the great man who started it all, at least it is in my mind.
    The issue for me is not so much what the music is currently called as to the origin of and the inspiration for the music that Django Reinhardt himself played. Django was much more than the music currently defined as Gypsy Jazz.

    In terms of a name, I must admit I prefer the sort of definition used when I first became interested nearly 6 decades ago :shock: - "Hot Club Jazz" or "Parisian Swing " - but that is purely a matter of personal taste. However, I do accept the music has changed since those days and these titles may now be less appropriate.
    MichaelHorowitz
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    Parisian Swing sounds very cool!
  • edited April 2014 Posts: 3,707
    Many people need a label on music. Just is. The musicologists have a field day analyzing and figuring out the roots of music. Django couldn't escape completely his musical heritage, it was his accent and his slang...to put it in a language metaphor....he worked very hard to fuse the modern (at the time) American jazz idiom.

    all that, Combined with his musical genius......he created a guitar language that speaks to me, and many others, like no one else. Not saying there aren't other great guitar players...or sax players or trumpet etc.

    There are not many in a Century that change the whole outlook. Django, Pops, Bird, Miles, Tatum. All had a huge impact on their field of music and took it in very different directions. They didn't do it alone, but each of the above ended up creating a whole new way of expressing those things that music expresses best.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    Bones wrote: »
    Parisian Swing sounds very cool!
    It's my favourite although the music Django was playing in the 50's could hardly be described as swing. Another label often used in the years after his death was simply "Django's Music".

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