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Django's guitar style influenced by accordionists?



  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 551
    I think that these guys were never considered to be jazz musicians at all - they were vaudevillians and entertainers and I think the jazz world looked down on them for that reason. And no doubt, this is All-American Show Business!

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,923
    Yeah for sure. Showboaters but I still dig it.
  • François RAVEZFrançois RAVEZ FranceProdigy
    Posts: 294
    Not as spectacular as Roy Smeck but may be closer to the music to which Django was exposed in his youth here is Lucien Belliard.
  • Posts: 2,881
    Yeah, I wanted to mention that seeing Roy during those Blue Skies variations, my daughter said daddy no eating from the floor, my jaw dropped.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 403
    Thanks for sharing for Francois. That is interesting!!!!!
  • François RAVEZFrançois RAVEZ FranceProdigy
    Posts: 294
    Thanks Pierre,
    According to Alain ANTONIETTO, Lucien 'Lulu' BELLIARD was regarded by Matelo Ferret as a master of the banjo.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 551
    The two Lulus, Belliard and Gallopin both played banjo on a lot of early accordion recordings. It makes you wonder exactly how things developed, who first played what, because I don't think this kind of staccato playing is exactly characteristic of either Auvergnate or Italian traditional music.

    The original cross-pollination was certainly Lt James Europe's big band which toured France extensively in the years immediately following WWII, but there isn't any banjo audible in the recordings made by Pathe France in 1919, which BTW are really terrific and nothing like a typical Sousa-type band from the same era. You know how musicians are, they appropriate from each other shamelessly.

    There was quite a lot of interest players like Smeck and Peabody in the N American acoustic music world a couple decades ago. I have VHS tapes full of old vitaphones and such of both players that were shared around my circle of friends back in the 80s - all on youtube today, of course. You could get all sorts of cool recordings of this kind of music on record labels like Yazoo and Blue Goose. Those guys, as great as they could play, were just not "hip" during the 50s when Eddie Peabody was a Naval officer in his day job and Roy Smeck was mostly retired. There's an interesting documentary about him made in 1985 or so in his apartment in NYC, can be seen here Eddie Peabody was still playing from time to time on the Lawrence Welk show in the 60s. Many musicologists and musicians wondered and discussed whether Roy Smeck was a guitar virtuoso or just a vaudeville guy who knew a lot of tricks. To me, those guys were like Bob Brozman, a guy who could just really play the devil out of any string instrument. Brozman could do all sorts of tricks but was also able to play quite seriously when it was called for.
  • François RAVEZFrançois RAVEZ FranceProdigy
    Posts: 294
    As strange as it may seem to american people the use of banjo became very popular in France without much reference to the playing of black american banjoists. The best proof is that Django more or less started to play jazz after he switched from banjo to guitar.
    Jo Privat himself loved guitar and made his son Jo Privat Jr learn this instrument.
    Also it must be noticed that many musicians were multi-instrumentists in particular Eugène YOOS (guitar and accordion), Louis VOLA (accordion and bass) and especially Charley BAZIN (accordion and guitar).
    There was a tradition of learning from other players : Gaston DURAND for instance learned guitar from Latorre, Django and Bazin. In those days there was no YouTube and no satisfying didactic material to learn to play guitar. Always remember that even in the 60's John Lennon and Paul McCartney crossed by feet the whole city of Liverpool to meet the guy who was able to play a G7.


    François RAVEZ
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