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

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  • lostjohnlostjohn Charleston, WV✭✭ Altamira M01
    Posts: 81
    I hereby offer, for your consideration, the term "Django Jazz". That's what is, after all.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,161
    I have a great story: when I was in Holland hanging out with the Dutch Sinti, one of them asked me:

    -Denis, what do you think of the French Gypsies (by which he meant the Gypsies in Alsace/Lorraine , east of France)
    -I think it's pretty cool, why do you ask?
    -I don't like how they play, it's just so rough, it's typical Gypsy!

    Then a few days later, on a whim I decided to actually go visit some Gypsy friends in that French region. I mentioned to them that I was hanging out with their Dutch cousins. So, one of them tells me:

    -Ah those Dutch Gypsies, whatever you do Denis, please don't play like them. They're so technically perfect but they have no Gypsy soul

    hahaha
    JazzaferriCharles Meadows
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,459
    On the old radio shows you hear them call it "hot jazz", not sure why the name fell out of use. Don't know which term came first, the hot club or hot jazz.
    You can't just call it jazz because it really is worlds apart from what jazz musicians are doing these days.
    Agree that "Gypsy Jazz" sounds square and naff, and "Jazz Manouche" is a miss too (why not jazz sinti or jazz tzigane or ...)
    Jazzaferri
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    Referring to Django, "Hot Jazz"
    wim wrote: »
    On the old radio shows you hear them call it "hot jazz", not sure why the name fell out of use. Don't know which term came first, the hot club or hot jazz.
    With reference to Django, "Hot Jazz" came first but that description also covered a lot of jazz. From memory, "Hot Club" is a 60's term which was specific to Django's music.

    Although I don't particularly like it as it sounds so ethnically focused, gypsy jazz is as representative title as any for the music that is played today in that the majority of top class performers are gypsies who have adapted the music to be less jazz and more ethnically influenced.

    I do not think, however, "gypsy jazz" accurately covers the playing of Django Reinhardt.

    StringswingerJazzaferri
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    edited April 2014 Posts: 1,252
    Neat article! Thanks for making time to research/write it.

    Wim/Teddy - Yeh, Hot Jazz seems to have preceded Hot Club by a few decades. Hot Jazz was a slang term for Traditional Jazz and Dixieland Jazz. But American jazz musicians of that age often just called their music jazz. This is a neat resource for that sort of thing. I met TeddyG on this site a long time ago. Good times... http://www.redhotjazz.com/

    There clearly was cross pollination between continents. I was listening to some Sidney Bechet the other day - a 1938 session with Leonard Ware, and I couldn't help thinking that it sounded like Leonard was experimenting with some of Django's signature stuff - choking notes off with that poignant little upward tilted bend, and using some of the general tonalities & scales that Django favored.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x192bti_sidney-bechet-chant-in-the-night-hd-officiel-seniors-musik_music?start=56
    Jazzaferri
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • I heard or read somewhere in the not too distant past that Charlie Christian heard some of Django's stuff. Not sure how much influence there was.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    I heard or read somewhere in the not too distant past that Charlie Christian heard some of Django's stuff. Not sure how much influence there was.
    It is claimed that Teddy Wilson once told Charlie Christian how much he liked Django and Christian played him a Django solo note for note. Mary Osborne also said Christian could play Django solos.

    Jazzaferri
  • Thank you Teddy. You just won me a coffee...from a bet last year. Made my day.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    edited April 2014 Posts: 1,263
    Interestingly, Ted Gottsegen has just uploaded a video of an interview with Joseph and Babik Reinhardt which is particularly relevant to this topic. When the interviewer asks them whether they play "traditional tzigan music or jazz", the immediate reply is "jazz". When he presses them further, they say "...we play Django's music".
    MichaelHorowitz
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 465
    Here is the link to that video:

    Joseph looks to be playing an electrified classical, Babik is playing an archtop and Tchan Tchou is playing a Favino with a stimer. As I have said, there are lots of different tools available to play Gypsy jazz.
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
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