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Just snagged a rare Django 'book' !

crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
edited November 2019 in Welcome Posts: 742

I just bought this book from ebay uk. It looks like it was compiled in 1973 by an American fan, obviously a completely home made effort. But I'm hoping it might contain some hidden gems - photographs, articles etc. Given it was compiled in 73 - just 20 years after he passed - and that few people were interested in Django and his music at the time it should be an interesting read. I won't get it until Christmas but, if there are hidden gems I will share them here.

always learning
mac63000AndyWBucoBonesBill Da Costa Williams


  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 155

    Awesome! Do let us know if it has anything cool.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 106

    I knew of the author, Max Abrams. In the '70s I was living in Los Angeles. A jazz guitarist there, Gerry Mancuso, played gypsy jazz; I took lessons from him. Gerry had seen Django play at the night club that he played at when he was in New York. He also was friends with both Stefan Grappelli (who had come to his house while on tour and shared a spaghetti dinner), and Mario Maccaferri! (Gerry was from New York.)

    Gerry was also a friend of Max Abrams, an attorney in L.A. who, according to Gerry, was interested in Django and moreover owned a Selmer tenor guitar.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 742

    Thanks for that. I had thought/hoped that someone on here would have some infirmation. It just adds another layer of richness to having the book.

    always learning
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 544

    This hard-to-find book is mostly a discography, more detailed than the one in Delauney and pretty accurate for the time it was compiled. The one you have is the most common of several different bindings and cover pages that I've seen and it looks to be in pretty typical shape. There were even a few dozen books printed with hardback library bindings and better paper, very unusual to see one of those for sale. These books were sold via an advertisement in Guitar Player in the 70s. The famous record collector John Bajo gave me his worn and heavily annotated copy and it's the same binding and cover page as yours. John told me that Max Abrams continued to run the ad in GP until he sold all of them. It was definitely a home project and a labor of love which IMO makes it all the more interesting. I have never been able to determine exactly how many were printed but it's probably not more than a few hundred. These books are old now and the paper used wasn't the best so if it was handled much it'll be a bit fragile. It's a great relic and a real prize so treat it gently!

    adrianBonesmac63000MichaelHorowitzBill Da Costa Williams
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 742

    Interesting stuff, piques my interest even more. A Facebook friend told me that the author was unfortunately murdered ??????

    always learning
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited November 2019 Posts: 1,421

    I have a copy of that book, too... pretty good for its time.... just curious, how much did it cost?

    Sorry to hear that the author was murdered. Max Abrams was a hot jazz enthusiast, a lawyer and the owner of TOM records, aka “The Old Masters”, which were reissues of hard to find 78’s on green vinyl albums, including two volumes of Venuti-Lang... this was back back in the late 60’s and early 70’s prior to the double Columbia reissue album, when Venuti-Lang recordings were almost impossible to find unless you were lucky enough to find an actual 78.

    I never actually met the man, but I have to say that there was once a time when I would have gladly killed Mr. Abrams myself!

    I was reduced to calling him about once a month or so at his office in LA, to try to shame him into mailing off the records for which I had already paid him... he always claimed to be “too busy” to mail them to me, but would promise to send them “next week”... that got pretty old after the first six months!

    My religion is, I worship Lang the Father, Django the Son, and Oscar the Holy Ghost...

    While converts are always welcome, I get to be the Pope because I thought of this religion before you did...
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,887

    Sounds like a pretty "colorful" character. Thanks for the history info.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira MF01, Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 742

    I paid £15 about $18 I think. He certainly does sound like a character.

    always learning
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 257

    If you go to abebooks, there are several copies of this available with the various different binding options. I think they are in the $35-65 range including postage for those who are interested.

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 544

    All in Europe, unfortunately. There's one on amazon for around $100, the usual price in the USA for a comb-bound edition. And for $100, you can usually get Paul Vernon's book which is properly bound and much more accurate and comprehensive

    Teddy Dupont
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