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Nov. Song Of The Month: Troublant Bolero

MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent
in History Posts: 305

This month's tune is a unique gem in the arsenal of gypsy jazz tunes & a delight to play. But this is assuming your bandmates are savvy about the proper touch that it takes to handle the bolero rhythm. Written by Django, he first recorded it in 1948 in Brussels. But my favorite version is from Rome in January or February of 1949. Here's a link to it:


This version features Django with Stephane Grappelli on violin, Gianni Safred on piano, Carlo Pecori on bass & Aurelio de Carolis on drums. Other notable versions include those by Bireli Lagrene, Pearl Django and Angelo Debarre with Tchavolo Schmitt. It's a superb song with that infectious bolero rhythm. My band plays it in E major and I'll post the chart that we use later.

wimBill Da Costa WilliamsMichaelHorowitz

Comments

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited November 7 Posts: 1,349

    It's a shame that very few people seem to play the E chords like the Django way, because the voice leading there (with descending 7ths) adds an interesting splash of color. Plus, how often do you get to play the "spooky" EmM7 voicing as a rhythm player in this style, not very often!

    It's also interesting the differences in bolero rhythm technique - between the 1 and the beat 2 of the bar, some ppl strum the chord 3 times like a triplet flourish (bass CHOCOLATE-PIE chord bass chord bass chord) and other ppl only 2 times (bass APPLE-PIE chord bass chord bass chord). I suppose the first way is more similar like a real (Cuban) bolero, but the second way is more similar like the Django recordings. Well, what do you prefer??

    This was one of the tunes that got me into Django in the first place. But now, I'm a little exhausted of it - I actually prefer Django's "other" bolero.

    djazzyrudolfochristMikeKBones
  • rudolfochristrudolfochrist Worms, GermanyNew Dupont MD-100
    Posts: 127

    I prefer the apple pie bolero technique 😊

    MikeK
  • Posts: 4,181

    Depends on the festive occasion. Sometimes I have a taste for chocolate pie, sometimes apple pie. Lately though, more often it's apple pie, chocolate pie can be too layered.

    Wim, can you point to a specific recording with Django chords? I've always used what I learned in the GJ circles.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • tomcunntomcunn ✭✭✭
    Posts: 117

    how did django play an e chord?

  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    edited November 10 Posts: 1,349

    We can only speculate how Django would have placed it exactly with his hands, but it sounds as though he's in the open position. The two chunky intro chords sound like E7#9 [022133] and then move it down one fret to get some sort of crazy A7 like [x11022]

    That descending 7th thing is like an Emaj7 / E7 / E6 then EmM7 / Em7 / A7, it's probably also in open position (to use the open G string). I don't know if Django's fingers could have formed EmM7 up at the 7th position, but in the open position it's quite easy.

    I'll try and make a short video to upload later

    BucoBones
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,349
  • Posts: 4,181

    That's it, that's what heard and wanted to figure out but never did. Thanks man!

    wim
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • rudolfochristrudolfochrist Worms, GermanyNew Dupont MD-100
    Posts: 127
  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Epiphone Zephyr Regent
    Posts: 305

    Nice Wim, you always add a lot to the discussion. Here's the chart my band uses:


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