Accordions at DFNW

LoritmoLoritmo Pacific NW✭✭✭
edited October 2009 in Accordion Posts: 69
Julien Labro was incredible! It was the first time for the Hot Club of Detroit at DFNW and they impressed everybody. Everyone wants to see them back next year. Watching Julien on his button accordion play off of the sax player was so much fun.

And David Lange with Pearl Django was wonderful on Sunday night. He just looks so comfortable up there, like there isn't any song, rhythm, speed that would faze him.

Julien's workshop on Saturday was great. There were only two of us, so we pretty much got private lessons in exactly what we wanted to know. I was also fortunate to have a lesson with David. He has to have taught before because he is patience personified and so good at getting across complex ideas about comping and soloing.

Loved the entire festival and hope the accordions are back next year!



  • brandoneonbrandoneon Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France✭✭✭
    Posts: 171
    This sounds great! Could you go into a little more detail about what you learned from David and Julien?

  • LoritmoLoritmo Pacific NW✭✭✭
    Posts: 69
    I'm happy to pass on what I learned. I got some general information from Julien on CBAs (that's what he plays) out of a desire to start trying to play the Hohner CBA I own (right now I play piano accordion) and some ideas for comping with the right hand and soloing. These were some of his comments:

    When improvising in Gypsy Jazz, concentrate on single notes instead of chords because the guitars are playing chords all day long. Instead of just hitting single notes, play legato with slurs. Think about imitating a trumpet or saxophone. (You can hear that in Julien’s playing.)

    He said gets asked why he doesn’t play his bass buttons sometimes. He said if he has a bass player with him, there’s no way he’s ever going to sound as good as an actual bass, so why bother. Concentrate on the solo melody. Doesn't use his musette much because that’s what the guitars are doing.

    David suggested that light arpeggios are a good way to comp on the right hand for the soloing guitars. In general, we also talked a lot about walking basses on the left hand and combining buttons to get major sevenths and some of the other chords that are used a lot in gypsy jazz.
    He was also able to give me some very specific right-hand fingerings to work on for particular problems areas I was having and so far they're working beautifully!

    It was a pleasure to spend time with both of them -- I really hope to be able to do it again someday.

    Hope that's of interest.
  • fozboxfozbox Salt Lake CityNew
    Posts: 12
    Wish I'd been there. I saw Julien a few years ago at an Accordion Convention in Las Vegas. His workshop was one of the best I attended. Started my interest in the whole Gypsy genre. One very talented and charming fellow.
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