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



  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393
    Really? We were discussing the Hat Club of France, weren't we? ;)
    Teddy DupontMichaelHorowitzMatt Mitchell
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 393
    Ok, back to today's French jazz manouche scene. I've noticed that there are very few gigs announced on the concert agenda on Djangostation nowadays. I wonder why that is. It used to be an excellent way to find out about jazz manouche concerts in Paris.
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    I have been working on a fedora constructed solely from Wegen picks and Argentines, am I too late to the party?
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    edited April 2014 Posts: 2,161
    Here's an interesting quote from Oscar Aleman (taken from wikipedia):

    ""I knew Django Reinhardt well. He used to say jazz was gipsy - we often argued over that. I agree with many Americans I met in France who said he played very well but with too many gipsy tricks. He had very good technique for both hands, or rather one hand and a pick, because he always played with a pick. Not me, I play with my fingers. There are things you can't do with a pick - you can't strike the treble with two fingers and play something else on the bass string. - But I admired him and he was my friend. He was my greatest friend in France. We played together many times, just for ourselves. I used to go to his wagon, where he lived. I've slept and eaten there - and also played! He had three or four guitars. Django never asked anyone to go to his wagon, but he made an exception with me. I appreciated him, and I believe the feeling was mutual".[3]""

    Very interesting quote! Once again, I obviously cannot speak for Django, or Gypsies in general but the way I see it, when a non-gypsy thinks of "Gypsy" music, one thinks of minor tonalities, "flamencoish", "klezmerish" . But when a Gypsy thinks of Gypsy music, it's more about freedom, confidence, virtuosity.. I think that's what Django meant by jazz being "gypsy music". At the time that Oscar was hanging a lot with Django , which I think would mainly be the 1930s, correct me if i'm wrong, Django was still discovering jazz and mainly relied on riffs and tricks in his soloing ; not to say that it wasn't melodic , but there's a lot of riff based improvisation rather than the long melodic lines that he was known for in the 1940s.. just listen to his famous solo on sheik of araby for example. And he definitely relied on lots of tricks, the famous chromatic stuff , the open string double stop tremolos, the famous tchavolo descending octave trick.. He used all these especially in the 1930s. That period was definitely very "flashy"
  • Hmmm...methinks your right. Teddy. Well to try and get it back on seems that Paris is certaily a hotbed of whatever we call it now.....

    I wonder why, there, what contributed to that phenomenon.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    edited April 2014 Posts: 393
    the famous tchavolo descending octave trick
    This is the trick that Django does in Georgia On My Mind, right? But does he use it in any other numbers? I can't remember now.

    I also wonder if they, Django and Tchavolo, do it the same way? In Georgia, I think, there are two consecutive hits one the G string, one on the E string and so on. But I think Tchavolo hits the E string twice, then the G string once and so on. Or maybe he sometimes does it this way and sometimes the other. I only had one recording at hand now.
  • I have about 80 of Alemans recordings that came in a set of CD's. Very lyrical player.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    edited April 2014 Posts: 476
    I play "White Hat Jazz" as good as I can given the limitations of my skin. With my stiff right hand and some added wriggling I will soon master "Gadjo-chapeau". Its scintillatingly annoying!
    Thanks Mssr. Mercier for the heads up!

    We're humans so language and definitions matter within the confines of communication, but what Django played just seems hard to label in two words. Certainly one of Django's influences was himself. Any label will stilt what is creative in a person or genre. Best to let music and language each have some room where they don't have to line up together. Why should they agree? How bout calling it whatever you choose?
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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