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how long has gypsy jazz been played?

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  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 653
    Roger says:
    “Perhaps I interpreted a fatalism about this statement that was not intended as if jazz and gypsies would have inevitably come together in a significant way without Django and that I do not believe.”

    Roger and I have amiably disagreed about the talents and abilities of the Ferrets over the years and this statement certainly reflects our differences of opinion. If we accept that Django being a gypsy was incidental (which I do) then there was not and is no “gypsy” influence on jazz. There is the influence of one man. This is my position, just as it is Roger’s position.

    But Django wasn’t the only talented guitarist in Paris, just the most talented. IMO the Ferrets, Marcel Bianchi and Oscar Aleman were just a few steps behind the master. In Django’s absence these guys would certainly have had more of an impact on the jazz scene in Paris. How much impact? In what way? Is anyone interested? That would be better discussed over a pint or three. Or at least another time…

    Cheers
    Scot
  • kimmokimmo Helsinki, Finland✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 170
    ...I am doubtful whether "normal" jazz fans would consider Viseur, Murena & Co to be jazz musicians.

    Yes, I'd call them jazz musicians, although their output was far more versatile ranging from early musette-apprenticeship to later commercial stuff, "qui marche le mieux et rapporte le plus"; and in between Murena had his tango-phase and Viseur accompanied Piaf.

    But from the late thirties to the early fifties swing was their main focus, they were members of Hot Club de France, their line-ups resembled for the most part the "new Quintet" with guitars, clarinet and drums and their repertoire consisted mostly of swing standards like Lady Be Good, Sweet Georgia Brown, Air Mail Special etc. They also played Django's compositions like Swing 41 and Daphné, and composed their own pearls of this genre. Their bands offered for the "other" guitarists – Gypsy or not – an opportunity to shine and they were not the only ones, just the most prominent. Murena even run a jazz club in Paris, le Mirliton, where the biggest jazz figures – including Django and Grappelli - performed regularly.

    In this well-known photo (thanks Patrick) you can see the company in which Viseur ran his band:
    http://everwander.com/res/img/db_photos ... 2037_6.jpg

    Kimmo
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    kimmo wrote:
    In this well-known photo (thanks Patrick) you can see the company in which Viseur ran his band:
    db_photos_items_1099822037_6.jpg
    This is actually one of the photos I sent Patrick....... but don't you think the reason Viseur & Co created musical combinations like this was specifically as a result of the dramatic impact Django had on the scene?

    However, I feel we are now all in danger of simply repeating ourselves and the arguments becoming so subjective and convoluted as be almost meaningless. What is certain is that although Ted, Scot, Kimmo and I agree on much, we disagree on what to many people would seem fairly trivial points. It reflects the old adage, the more "experts" you get together the greater the number of differing views.

    It is a salutary thought that we are earnestly discussing "what might have happened if" whereas, in many instances, we do not know what actually happened during those heady days of the 30's and 40's. We certainly have little real insight into the nuances of the interfaces between many of the characters involved and that is something I would love to have.
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 768
    How long? Too long!
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551

    It is a salutary thought that we are earnestly discussing "what might have happened if" whereas, in many instances, we do not know what actually happened during those heady days of the 30's and 40's. We certainly have little real insight into the nuances of the interfaces between many of the characters involved and that is something I would love to have.


    I don't know either, but I'd think they were pretty busy sharing Eddie Lang records.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    I can't actually remember what this thread was all about and there is far too much to re-read but here is a quote from Matelo Ferret that perfectly sums up my view of Django, gypsy music and the origins of gypsy jazz:-

    "Django did not play in the gypsy style. He played a style that was his alone, that began with him. Certainly, he played the guitar, a traditional gypsy instrument, but his school of guitar playing was his own creation".

    Apologies if I have posted this quote before but it so succinctly and fundamentally cuts across many of the retrospective interpretations we hear today.
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