Nov Song Of The Month--Django's Castle



  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 641

    Chet's version was on his Teensville LP (which I had back in the 60s).

    Could be Hank Garland on 2nd guitar.

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,459

    @Buco It was actually just whatever iPhone I had in 2013. I agree it captured that guitar's true sound surprisingly well - being out in the French countryside where there's very little background noise may have helped!

    Huh, didn't know Gerry Mulligan version before, nice one.

    Diz's is truly awful, as expected 😄

    If anybody can find a link for Barney Wilen version, please drop it in here (from "French Ballads" album)

    For 2 fingers style, see Antonis impressive as always ..

    BucorudolfochristTeddy DupontWillieBillDaCostaWilliamsbillyshakes
  • PhilPhil Portland, ORModerator Anastasio
    Posts: 772

    Great tune, but not the best tune to call at large jams... years ago at the regular weekly jam session in Portland, where there'd regularly be 10+ jammers, when Django's Castle was called, there'd be a huge groan...if played, it could take 2hrs to finish!😁😁😁

  • edited November 2021 Posts: 4,808

    I wasn't aware Django recorded this in Eb as well as in D. Joe Pass version is in Eb. I've listened to this album before a lot but never noticed...perfect pitch would come in handy sometimes. Then as I was checking out Django's Eb version, this caught my ear, the 2/5 phrase he plays going to Ab. And what do you know, he starts by playing Bb- but then goes to play a short phrase over Db major. At least I think so. It also looks like Fm shape but I think he went to relative major of Bb-. Then finished on b9 of Eb7, E note.

    Written out it sounds more complicated than it is so I recorded a video, check it out, so cool. Now if I could only retain and use this myself...still haven't found a system to do just that, other than drilling it into you by mercilessly playing it everywhere, which Wim once described. This happens at around 0;35 in this particular recording.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 641

    this caught my ear, the 2/5 phrase he plays going to Ab.

    Nice phrase.

    Seems to me like it's ascending with a Bb min 11 idea and then descending via a Bb#11 phrase to the Ab.

    Don't understand it though, so that's probably not a useful way of thinking about it.

  • Posts: 4,808

    If it makes sense to you like that, that's really all it matters.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Pompe_ojisanPompe_ojisan Tokyo✭✭ Rino van Hooijdonk
    Posts: 47

    Thanks Buco for bringing up this version, it is truly beautiful.

    I think they do play in D, but end up sharp on the recording, which for some reason seems to happen very often with Django's 47' recordings. What sounds like a F7 chord at 1'34'' must be an E7 with an open low E. The first arpeggiated chord of the intro is also pretty hard to grab, unless you make it an open D.

    Also regarding the lick, isn't it easier to think we're temporarily in G (or Ab)? Then it is a IIm triad connected to a G major scale phrase, with a flat6 thrown in at the end, to get a V7b9 sound. He plays this one a lot around 47, for ex in place de Brouckere, Diminishing, Gipsy with a song just to name a few

  • Posts: 4,808

    This is the version we're talking about, courtesy of by now well known to us, Heinz Becker. Nice to see you around @Pompe_ojisan Could be it's in D after all. I know Django recordings are sharp but usually not by this much and Joe Pass version being in Eb I figured is a nod to Django. But if there are chords that suggest open shape that's a pretty good indication. I'll check it out more closely.

    You're totally right about the phrase, after he plays pretty much a full ii7m chord, he just goes to play something around the G (Gb as I played in video). Yesterday I saw a different shape and I was like "aha this is what he must've been thinking". I even tried to think in simpler terms as I usually like to approach things but I just didn't see the obvious (I did mention the b9 in the end), was to fixated on the shape I thought is the base of the phrase. Much easier to think about too is you see everything in the same key (albeit temporary), just a 251.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Carlo GentenaarCarlo Gentenaar The Netherlands✭✭ John Le Voi
    edited November 2021 Posts: 77

    @Buco that's a nice phrase indeed! And you should make sure you get where it came from rather than repeating this exact phrase. Think of it in CAGED chord shapes; it starts with Bbm7 root on the E string 6th position like an open Em7 and then it goes into a Bbm with the root on the D string (8th pos.) like an open Dm and this shape is mingled with a DbMaj7 chord shape with the root on the D string (11th pos.) like an open Fmaj7. The DbMaj7 is actually an inversion of Bbm9! The highest passing tone being an Eb gives it the 11th sound and indeed it ends on the b9 of the V chord. Those three shapes together are hiding hundreds of Django's and Joe's 2-5-1 licks! Hope this helps!

  • Posts: 4,808

    @Carlo Gentenaar yes ok, that's what I was doing, at least I thought I was, looking at it through chord shapes. I mean isn't that what I wrote along with the description of the video, Bb- then Dbmaj? Either way, I like the simplified view of it that @Pompe_ojisan provided. But all of that isn't that important to begin with, at least for me. What is, is playing it or a version of it, several hundred times in the next month or so. That's the only way I'll get any use out it in improvising.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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