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Jazz.com Django in June Article

Bill BarnesBill Barnes New HampshireNew
edited August 2008 in Welcome Posts: 63
I had inadvertently met a few of the forum members at D in J, but somehow didn't connect with their avatars! My bad- I was sort of preoccupied with my assignment for Jazz.com.

Here are the links to pts 1 and 2 of my article on Django in June:

http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/7/27/gyspy-jazz-one
http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/8/4/gypsy-jazz-two

Part 3 will be posted sometime next week and my feature article on Adrien Moignard will be published sometime this month. When it's up I'll provide a convenient link.

Please overlook any omissions or inaccuracies which were result of editing; nuances, terminology and techniques with which most of you are more than familiar. The purpose was to try to generate more interest in jazz Manouche among the mainstream jazz enthusiasts who, like me a little over a year ago, were blissfully unaware of the genre and its many joys.
Bill
www.billbarnestrio.com
"Listen to this, it speaks like a cathedral!"- Django, on the Selmer (from Michael Dregni's Django, the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend)
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Comments

  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Nice job, Bill! Thanks for taking the time to give this music more exposure.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 422
    I'd like to second Mr bauer's coments-great article, and solid discriptions- I love the discription of shiro (the metal guitarist from NYc, and my student!). Though I don't understand not coming down to at least hang at the jams, I mean- with your background you could learn a whole lot just watching and stealing stuff for later!
    Cheers,
    Ben
  • KlezmorimKlezmorim South Carolina, USANew
    Posts: 160
    "Though I don't understand not coming down to at least hang at the jams, I mean- with your background you could learn a whole lot just watching and stealing stuff for later! "

    Ben, I can echo Bill's feelings. The first couple of days I felt VERY intimidated by the absolutely amazing musicianship and rapid-fire playing (not always the same as musicianship) of the other attendees. Never mind that I've been playing music for [cough] several decades. I was afraid to take my guit-box out of the case, although I *did* hang with a lot of the jams from the beginning.

    By Wednesday, I'd absorbed enough technique (and Monsieur Bauer's single-malts) to feel more and more comfortable. By Friday, I was "djammin!"

    Too bad "Mr. Bill" couldn't have spent the entire week with us, I think he'd also have enjoyed participating more by Friday.
  • Bill BarnesBill Barnes New HampshireNew
    Posts: 63
    Thanks for the warm comments, guys. My chief regret is not being able to identify forum members while at the camp. As for the jams, I did hang out and listen, but, as I had not had a chance to include a rhythm class in the limited amount of time I had there, I didn't want to muddy the waters. As I had said, my la pompe was la crap. I did learn a little of the basic technique over the weekend- it's a far cry from the minimalist comping associated with bebop.

    Your comments are all the more meaningful to me because you guys know this music and have been involved in it long enough to spot any discrepancies or inaccuracies in my article. Thanks for being kind. I did try to do my homework and have developed a genuine enthusiasm for the genre, which I hope is apparent to the average reader. My editor, Ted Gioia, is an award-winning music author, who has penned several fairly in-depth and well-received books on various aspects of jazz and jazz history published by Oxford, Duke and Stamford University Presses. This whole scene had slipped past his radar, although he was more or less familiar with Django. When I reviewed the Selmer 607 tracks, he became curious about jazz Manouche and is now fascinated with the movement. Ultimately, his support may be invaluable in spreading the word.
    Bill
    www.billbarnestrio.com
    "Listen to this, it speaks like a cathedral!"- Django, on the Selmer (from Michael Dregni's Django, the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend)
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,249
    Great as always, Bill. It's gratifying to see our little corner of the world receive some attention from the larger jazz world.

    As the others have said, you're always welcome to jam - I pomped for close to four years before even attempting to solo - and the first two years were some very *quiet* pomping to be quite honest about it... and there are still jams I won't solo in... There just isn't anything musically that I'd be able to say on a guitar that would be illuminating to gents like Mathieu, Adrien, Robin etc... so I just pompe and smile wide - and have a great time doing so. And as you say - in this genre, that's actually a good thing. Tasty rhythm is always a draw in gypsy jazz.

    You're a good musician - you have an ear - this stuff will come to you faster than most because your ear hears the difference and that's more than half of it. See you at the jams next year?

    -Bob
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Bill BarnesBill Barnes New HampshireNew
    Posts: 63
    Bob, thanks for your encouraging words. I look forward to the jams next year- by then I will have some kind of pump thing going. This is such a challenging style to transition from straight jazz guitar.

    I disagree that you wouldn't have anything to say worth hearing, but I concur with your point. I'm always amused that, on occasion, there will be one or two individuals in these master classes who knock themselves out trying to amaze the teachers, who have pretty much heard it all and are unlikely to be the slightest bit impressed. The point is that we are all there to learn and to improve. I have at least a year's worth of woodshedding ahead of me, resulting from technique and concepts garnered from these clinics.

    I look forward to seeing you and your gorgeous guitars next year!

    All the best,
    Bill
    Bill
    www.billbarnestrio.com
    "Listen to this, it speaks like a cathedral!"- Django, on the Selmer (from Michael Dregni's Django, the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend)
  • Bill BarnesBill Barnes New HampshireNew
    Posts: 63
    FYI, part three of my article is now posted. Thanks again for all the positive feedback!
    http://www.jazz.com/jazz-blog/2008/8/14 ... jazz-three
    Bill
    www.billbarnestrio.com
    "Listen to this, it speaks like a cathedral!"- Django, on the Selmer (from Michael Dregni's Django, the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend)
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Than for writing that Bill, I enjoyed reading it a lot. Would have loved to be there.
    I agree that the Pompe is incredibly hard to play right. Learning to do it the way it's supposed to be done is now one of my main goals. If you play good rhythm you can sit in with anyone and lead players will love you.
    A piece of advice Sebastien Giniaux gave me for rhythm is "Look for a warm, compact and dry sound and always play from the wrist".
    Nousche Rosenberg said " Play from the wrist, relax and listen closely to Joseph Reinhardt"
    I would like to crack the secret to Mathieu Chatelain style, Can someone offer some tips for that?? Is it the Pompe four? with the muted 2 and 4??


    And btw Does anyone happen to have a recording of Adrien and Gonzalo's Jams??
  • Bill BarnesBill Barnes New HampshireNew
    Posts: 63
    Thanks Enrique. Did you get to Samois? I was sort of disappointed that you didn't make it to Northampton. I appreciate the comments on the pompe, which will be invaluable, I'm sure.
    Bill
    www.billbarnestrio.com
    "Listen to this, it speaks like a cathedral!"- Django, on the Selmer (from Michael Dregni's Django, the Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend)
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    Yes I did go to Samois, had a wonderful time and learned a lot. I really wanted to go to Django in June but it was one or the other... I hope to meet you someday soon and exchange tips and tricks on Gypsy jazz playing.
    I got my butt kicked a lot at the camping sites especially for rhythm, when you measure your skills with players like Titi Bamberger and Fanto Yayo Reinhardt, you can't help but come up short.
    I found out that only a handful of players really understand the importance of good rhythm. Most players, myself included, thought they had it and dismissed it as very simple, but in reality were a far cry from the driving groove of the real masters.
    A good pompe separates the real players from the boys.
    I'll be working hard on my pompe everyday from now on.
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