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Are bluegrass and gypsy jazz compatible?

13

Comments

  • bokchoybokchoy New
    Posts: 19
    Thankyou, Scot!
    One Leg Up was exactly the band that I was trying to think of. It looked like a very interesting and promising group to me.
    I will never forget the night that I went to see Doc Watson and his son Merle at Bogart's in Cincinnati.
    Such simplicity and basic organic honesty.
    There were no overly complicated heaps of amplifiers and wires and what not all around the stage.
    Just a few amps, a couple of microphones and the Watsons were ready to go and lay down some wonderful acoustic guitar music!
    And when Doc let it be known that he used to be in Elvis' back-up band, well.....
    I couldn't help but think that this must be Rock 'n Roll in it's earlier, purer form that I was listening to. How exciting!
    And what a contrast to anything from the "Rock Industry" that existed during the early 1980s when I was listening to this performance. Doc and his son were playing something that refreshed and re-established the word "music".
    I think that one will find a Gypsy guitar (possibly a Favino or Busato) that is owned by Doc at the site Gypsy Guitars.com.
    I suppose that his curiosity was peaked at the solo improvisations of Django Reinhardt and how they might be applied to the dreadnaught guitar.
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Doc and Merle at Bogarts!!
    bokchoy, my jealousy knows no bounds. Doc Watson is up there with Mr. Reinhardt in my esteem, one of i've finest ever heard (on record that is).
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Doc is one of the all-time greats. Although he probably does not consider himself to be a bluegrass player per se, he was enormously influential on generations of BG pickers, including Clarence White, Tony Rice, Dan Crary, and all the rest. Without Doc leading the way, the hot guitar picking that is such a staple of bluegrass might not have come about, or at least might have been delayed for a long time or happened in a very different way. He is a giant.

    And, like Django, even after hearing all the flashy pickers who have come along since and built on his body of work, listening to Doc is still a revelation. His playing is so fluid, clean, and inventive and his technique so flawless that it is still a marvel to listen to.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Glad to know i'm not the only Watsonite out there Ben. Moral of the story, you can play Doc Watson notes, but your never gonna sound like the man himself, he's on a different level

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlxc544zTxI
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Wow, great video, redblues. We focus so much on Doc's flatpicking that we sometimes forget what an awesome fingerpicker he is.
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Here's a self confessed Doc follower, Leo Kottke

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKb-FBsG ... re=related
  • bokchoybokchoy New
    Posts: 19
    I must confess that I should not just come out and say that Doc is a Gypsy Jazz guitar owner.
    I went back to the Gypsy Guitars site and was unable to find the guitar that I was sure was listed as belonging to Doc.
    Maybe if I fish around some more. Maybe on his official web site. I'll post it when I find it.
    I did, however, find Ry Cooder as owning a 1977 Favino!
  • bokchoybokchoy New
    Posts: 19
    As an after thought I wonder what the hybrid of Bluegrass and Gypsy Jazz would be called?
    Gypsy Grazz, perhaps?
  • StevearenoSteveareno ✭✭✭
    Posts: 349
    Interesting thread. I've always liked Doc's playing coz you can hear some swing in his style. Dix Bruce seems to come from a Bluegrass background and has a couple of books out on "Gypsy Swing" (along with a bunch of flatpick and mandolin stuff). His approach appears to be more "flatpicker" style. Nice simple, easy to follow, straight forward arrangements...some pretty cool chord voicings too (apparently from Mel Bay). I like his take on Back Home In Indiana and After You've Gone. He has a couple of clips on YouTube....website www.musixnow.com I'm curious to see if there's gonna be any djamming going on at the Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest this spring?
    Swang on,
  • marvsomarvso New
    Posts: 1
    I am just beginning to delve into Gypsy Jazz coming from almost 40 years of bluegrass guitar. I think its a normal transition and it seems to me that most GJ pickers have a little bluegrass history behind them. I might be wrong, I dont know much. It was awesome seeing Gypsy Jazz at River City Festival in Portland and then again at Wintergrass.
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