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Later Django

JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
edited April 2005 in Repertoire Posts: 1,752
Hi, all.

This is something that's been on my mind for a while: Why is it that the later Django compostitions don't seem to get played so often? I'm thinking about Impromptu, Fleche d'Or, Porto Cabello, Folie A Amphion, even Anouman. Is it more a question of 'swing' content-many of these are decidedly more modern sounding than the core QHCF rep-or is it something else? Crolla does a version of Anouman that sounds damn near american; could that be the trouble (i.e., is there not enough 'gypsy' in it for most players)?

And yes (to head off some of the dissent) some of these tunes are played-Angelo, for one, seems to do a lot-but they still seem few and far between. My gut feeling, though, is that most people simply feel (even if they don't say) that Django somehow became less 'Django' after the late forties, so they don't want to explore it, regardless of the music, and to me it seems like a lot of us are missing out.

Comments?

Best,
Jack.

Comments

  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    Perhaps it's because they're freakin' hard to play. ;)

    I'm only partially joking. I'm sure their difficulty, combined with their relative obscurity, put them out of the minds of many players. It's funny; I was just thinking today that I haven't heard many (or, come to think of it, any) versions cover Sarane Ferret's tune. Like you said about the later Django stuff, they're probably out there, but they're nowhere near as popular as the '30's QHCF stuff.

    As an aside, I don't find those tunes particularly "American" sounding. They share a lot of traits with American bop stuff of the same era, but they still sound like Django to me. If anything, the rest of the world seemed to be catching up to his advance melodic and rhythmic sense.

    Just my two cents.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,263
    Jack wrote:
    My gut feeling, though, is that most people simply feel (even if they don't say) that Django somehow became less 'Django' after the late forties, so they don't want to explore it, regardless of the music, and to me it seems like a lot of us are missing out.
    That is exactly the reason. In many people's minds, including those who should know better, Django is the pre-war string quintet and little else. It reflects my contention that the "Gypsy Jazz" genre is becoming increasingly restrictive and dominated by "easy listening" music.
  • joefjoef Wales, U.K.New
    Posts: 35
    Jack wrote:
    My gut feeling, though, is that most people simply feel (even if they don't say) that Django somehow became less 'Django' after the late forties, so they don't want to explore it, regardless of the music, and to me it seems like a lot of us are missing out.
    That is exactly the reason. In many people's minds, including those who should know better, Django is the pre-war string quintet and little else. It reflects my contention that the "Gypsy Jazz" genre is becoming increasingly restrictive and dominated by "easy listening" music.

    So that leads to the conclusion that the modern "Gypsy Jazz" genre was in fact invented by Stephane Grappelli. There was no sign of it before Steph and Django got together. Have you ever heard a Gypsy Jazz band with Accordion, Slide Whistle and 6-string banjo ?
    The fact that the later stuff is largely ignored is also because it is post- Grappelli. Grapelli's influence was the key and the fact that they were in Paris with loads of real everyday influences from American jazzers. That and the Hot CLub and people like Delaunay et al who nurtured the Quintet. You know, even some of the famous Hot Club tunes were not chosen by them, but by the record company involved. And they had to work from printed sheet music in some cases.
    So now the main questions must be: what type of bow did Stephane use? and did he use mostly downstrokes? :-)
    Now where's my asbestos suit ?

    regards
    Joe
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    Jack,

    I think Teddy's right - a surprisingly high proportion of Django's fans only really like the acoustic swingy stuff (only partly the result of a lack of exposure). Which is a shame because the later stuff was great - my band definitely leans more toward tunes like Fleche d'Or, Babik and Nuits de Saint Germain des Pres rather than Lady Be Good, All of Me, etc.
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