DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Who's Online (1)

  • peterja 7:57AM

Related Discussions

Today's Birthday

Cigano1980

What's the role of Electric Guitar in Gypsy Jazz?

Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
edited July 2005 in Archtop Eddy's Corner Posts: 589
Wow -- I just caught up on my reading in the "history" section of Ted's thread, "Gypsy Jazz or Gypsies Playing Jazz" (I've been pulled away with other projects, blah, blah, blah, and hadn't had a chance to be here for a while..), anyways, amazing! They covered just about everything about Gypsies except whether Jimi Hendrix was REALLY in a Band of Gypsies.

And herein lies my weak transition the subject of: "electric guitars."

What does the electric guitar bring to and take away from this musical genre that we now tepidly and reservedly call Gypsy Jazz?

In some ways it seems that the Selmer Mac - Django thang has created more limits than openings on "the proper" way to play this music -- especially, on the acoustic guitar.

Meanwhile, the players who use electric guitar seem to expand beyond the confines of the Hot Club style and borrow snippets from bop, jazz, soul, etc., and do so while maintaining the essense of what makes us think, Humm, Gypsy jazz...

Nonetheless at other times, playing the electric guitar seems to at times take the musical meanderings so far from the Hot Club style, one has to do a double-take at the CD label to see if it's really the same CD as stated on the cover.

SO... What do you think? What's the role of electric guitar in Gypsy Jazz?

A.E.

Comments

  • campfirecampfire New
    Posts: 70
    SO... What do you think? What's the role of electric guitar in Gypsy Jazz?

    A.E.[/quote]

    Fodder to sell, so we can buy more Sel-Mac's? I know! The "Electric Gui-toilet!!!" :lol:

    Larry Camp
    www.larrycamp.com (my personal jazz guitar website)
    www.impromptujazz.com (my gypsy-jazz website)
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,183
    In some ways it seems that the Selmer Mac - Django thang has created more limits than openings on "the proper" way to play this music -- especially, on the acoustic guitar.
    These limits were and are being applied by others; they were never Djangos. His music continued to develop throughout his life and from 1947, he was primarily an electric/amplified guitarist.

    I prefer the acoustic guitar but limiting the music exclusively to this instrument is incredibly stultifying.
    What's the role of electric guitar in Gypsy Jazz?
    Whatever anyone chooses to make it.
  • BreezeBreeze New
    Posts: 12
    Ted, have you heard any recordings of Dick McDonough on electric? I've never come across any, but if he did, I'd love to hear them. He died in 1938 so that would make him an early user. Kress made plenty, of course, but he lived until 1965. Good post--in any kind of jazz, use what you need to express yourself, as Prez would say, "to tell your little stories."

    Breeze
    Somebody wake me when it's time to hit.
  • stublastubla Prodigy Godefroy Maruejouls
    Posts: 386
    Breeze wrote:
    Ted, have you heard any recordings of Dick McDonough on electric? I've never come across any, but if he did, I'd love to hear them. He died in 1938 so that would make him an early user. Kress made plenty, of course, but he lived until 1965. Good post--in any kind of jazz, use what you need to express yourself, as Prez would say, "to tell your little stories."

    Breeze

    Hi
    And lets not forget the greatest--George Barnes!!
    Kress' one time duo partner (sparring and otherwise!!)
    He was one of the very first electric players
    I was listening to his "Keeping out of mischief" cd today and was reminded of just how great he was;brilliant arranger as well!!
    And such a lovely beautiful BRIGHT electric tone--i'm sure Django would have loved him!
    Stu
  • BreezeBreeze New
    Posts: 12
    Oh man Stu, when I started playing jazz in the mid 70's Barnes and Django were the first guys I listened to. As much as I love bop and modern players, those 2 guys grabbed my attention right away. I studied (and eventually played with) with a great player named Jerry Fields, he had been influenced heavily by Barnes and Django. I remember him writing out Django's Billets Doux for me one lesson and Barnes Love Walked In on another. He played his own bag but he knew what these guys and others had done, and could show you. He told me about those Barnes Octets, clear proof of his brilliant arranging. He was real young when he did those, they are amazing to me. Barnes always played the way he wanted, no matter what was in fashion, and like Django, it is timeless. I know Bucky Pizzarelli speaks about him with reverence. As both Jerry and Bucky told me, one note and you know it's George Barnes. Thanks for mentioning him, everybody go listen to some George Barnes, it'll make you smile :D and feel better! Best, Breeze
    Somebody wake me when it's time to hit.
  • Posts: 10
    IF you can find Bunny Berrigin's rendition of "Honeysuckle Rose" you will hear one killer (I mean *Killer!*) guitar solo by Dick McDonough.
  • Posts: 10
    not sure: I had a burned copy of Bunny's greatest hits.
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 165
    Browsing old threads in my second to last day before summer vacation in an almost dead office...
    In some ways it seems that the Selmer Mac - Django thang has created more limits than openings on "the proper" way to play this music -- especially, on the acoustic guitar.

    An acoustic guitar is a social instrument by nature: you can basically sit down anywhere and just start making music with others without complicated set-ups, which in its part contributes to better execution little by little. This year in Samois I noticed (again) a huge skill boost in average jam sessions compared to previous years. You don't get those skills from ever better instruction materials and ever more frequent master classes alone; you get them from playing with others - for which the acoustic guitar is the easiest medium. I'd call that creating openings.
    These limits were and are being applied by others; they were never Djangos. His music continued to develop throughout his life and from 1947, he was primarily an electric/amplified guitarist.
    I think people like the Garcias used electric simply because it made being heard that much easier. I also think they like the tone. That aside, I think most of the guitarists who came up during the '40's, '50's, etc, moved with the times the same way Americans did and considered amplification to be where it's at.

    This is an interesting paradox. The American guitarists in the '30's, players like Dick McDonough, Carl Kress and others, were all really into the idea of amplification because they were tired of slugging it out, trying to be heard over horns.

    One application where the acoustic guitar is superior is rhythm: Django's rhythm guitarists played acoustic guitars; Rocky and Mundine Garcia are backing Ninine on acoustic guitars; Angelo Debarre had a magnetic pick-up in Samois 2004 but Tchavolo Hassan and Tchiquito Lambert didn't have. When you need a sharp attack and controlled dynamics, acoustic Selmer/Mac-sound just can't be beaten, in my humble opinion, especially when you don't have drums/brushes/percussions in the band.

    Lead playing is a different matter, but there, too, I usually prefer the acoustic Selmer sound, although it's more the player and his/her style that counts the most. I can, however, well understand the American players' enthusiasm towards the electric guitar when it came in the market - their typical acoustic flat-top or arch-top guitars just didn't have the tonal capabilities to cut through in lead and still let also others be heard. AND their bands had drums and trumpets.
    I prefer the acoustic guitar but limiting the music exclusively to this instrument is incredibly stultifying.

    Couldn't agree more (listening to Integrale #20).
  • The beauty of jazz are the limitations that each instrument brings to the genre. If there are any handicaps or limitations to what you can create by playing only a Selmer-Mac guitar, then I am glad that those limitations exist, otherwise there would only be straight jazz and nothing else. Likewise a trumpet or a piano bring there own handicapped voice, which is probably why we like Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson so much. Altogether these instruments bring diversity to the music each in their own way. Thank god for the limitations of instruments. If only we could create more instruments that are limited even more so, and in effect, create more openings!
    ---
    Jon Austen, Portland, OR
    playing since 1997
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.045312 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes
Kryptronic