Valse Manouche - Django or not?



  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    I have always been the defender of the Ferret legacy, but never suggested that any of them was the equal of Django as a swing or jazz guitarist. I'm not stupid. I am certain that I have all or nearly all of Baro's recordings and I can't find any that I would call jazz or swing. That wasn't his thing at all and I've never seen anyone suggest that it was. He did his own thing and I think that the LP of modern waltzes stands alone as a unique recording of unique compositions and original thinking. There's nothing like it anywhere. It's not for everyone but I like to think that he'd want it that way.

    That version of Daphne is almost certainly Sarrane, who was also an excellent composer (see "Folies-Bergere") and bandleader. His recorded solos throughout his long career were modest and certainly lacked the flash and exuberance of Django, but he was a major player in the Paris milieu throughout his life and was a very capable big-city professional guitarist, especially skilled at Russian and Latin styles .

    Of the Paris guitarists, Matelot was the most versatile and played as a professional guitarist in a dizzying variety of styles all his life. He played everything from jazz to arabic music and generally was able to play anything he was asked to play right from the cuff, no chart or rehearsal. He was actually a superb swing and jazz guitarist as well, with a style that owed nothing to anybody. It unfortunate that almost none of this music was ever put to disc. I have many bootlegs plus two live concerts where he played a lot of swing tunes that we associate with Django and it's not derivative and it doesn't sound like a frail old man which is what he was in 1986 when these concerts were recorded. It's wacky and exuberant and full of adventurous and risky soloing. Sadly none of this seems to be on youtube either.

    He and Sarrane lived most of their lives in tiny unheated apartments in the Montmartre neighborhood known as the "goutte d'or" - later in life Matelot and his family moved to a nicer place in south Paris. Baro's life is a mystery, of course, even to those people who knew him. Not Django's equal? Of course they were not Django's equal - but who ever suggested that anyway?

    As for who held the copyrights, it would be a simple matter for someone in Paris to find the city directory or search the records for 1960 and find out who occupied 20bis rue Louis Phillipe in Neuilly. This was the address of Caroussell/Caramel Music who published and held the copyrights to many compositions written by or attributed to Django and Matelot.

    Here is Tea for Two from 1986, others to follow
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    Can't seem to get anything else to upload...

  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,913
    @scot what is the format? Also, the files may be too large. Compress them if need be.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    They are all 5m+ mp3 and I don't know how to compress them. Can I embed them in the post?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    edited July 2014 Posts: 5,913
    @scot you should be able to attach them to your post.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,203
    Scot you have studied the Ferrets more than anyone else why do you think Sarane never recorded with Django? Do you have any evidence that he actually performed with him publically?
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    Just gotta jump in here because things are getting a little heated and people seem to be going after Wim when really he is just voicing agreement with things others have already said. For example...
    scot wrote: »
    Are you suggesting that Matelot Ferret decided give Django ownership of tunes he wrote himself (7 years after Django's death) just so he could make more money off of them? How exactly would that work? And having talked at length to at least four people who played with Matelot from 1960 until his death, it's absurd to suggest that he was trying to work some kind of scam. If anything, he was excessively modest and frequently gave the credit for tunes he wrote to others. And the Ferrets lacked creativity and ideas? I really don't understand what you are trying to say here, Wim.

    I added the emphasis, but the contradictions within the outrage should be clear. It is snarky to suggest he gave credit to another musician, yet it is something he was known to do? How does that work?

    Others suggested that associations with Django (like the photo) were PR moves. Are PR moves a "scam" ? That's a matter of opinion, but they are a common part of business. Someone else mentioned that Stephane did the same by name dropping Django in his titles to make some money. Where is the vitriol for that person? How is it horrible for Wim to suggest that a KNOWN business practice was used?

    Please don't twist his language into something stronger than it is. Going after him for talking about things that others have brought up seems like poor dialogue to me.

    I'm sure I'll catch heat now, but I've never seen someone get so ragged on and agreed with at the same time.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    There's a big difference between giving a tune away to a friend and attaching a deceased and famous person's name to something you wrote in order to make money off of it. One's being generous and the other is crooked. By using words like "con" and "sus", it's clear what Wim intended. Which is something no one would ever have done -it's impossible. Everyone in those days recognized Django as being the best of them all. That's precisely the reason none of them ever tried to play like him.

    I didn't think Wim was being malicious- he just doesn't know his history.

    Sarrane never recorded with Django because he wanted always to be the boss. He did sub for him on many occasions, though.
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,122
    Hard to tell who's who sometimes between Sarane and Django!!! Don't know if I have anything intelligent to add, but when I listen to Sarane's playing (and I'm no expert), his attack is ever so slightly lighter than Django's. If he 's playing a on a traditional gypsy style guitar, it s as if he were picking close to where the sound hole is. From the audience's perspective, it's as if he's playing just over the left part of the sound hole. I'm not saying that is the case, but it sounds that's way! btw check out the pics here: , it's not proof, but his picking area is definitely closer to the sound hole. In that 1955 recording of minor swing, you can definitely hear it more clearly! whether it's because of recording technology or that he purposely gravitated towards that kind of tone, who knows...

    Django's tone is a bit percussive/snappier if you will, and he seems to have a stronger contact with the strings, it sounds like he's picking just before where the sound hole starts, and if you can verify this in video, by watching the j'attendrai film

    At any rate, it's very very subtle but I definitely heat it

    As far as the choti clip is concerned, it's so hard to tell, if there was vibrato in the playing, it would help a lot! There's a lot of djangoism in the playing though (arpeggio shapes and chord voicings), but then again, i dont know enough about sarane's playing either.

    Lastly, based on what we know, Django was indeed obsessessed with jazz, but that doesn't mean he had fun doing other things, right? perhaps choti could be one of those exceptions? I forget which famous gypsy violinist it was that i hung out with once, but one time he suddenly broke into a bluegrass / country thing, it totally surprised me!!! Or let's not forget Bireli's Metal Earthquake recording! There's a youtube video (i cant find it) of tchavolo schmitt playing blues on an electric guitar somewhere out there.. there's one of stochelo playing rock on a strat too..

    re: the con thing... Gypsies like all human beings are not perfect, and while some of the unfortunate stereotypes do happen, the worst thing you can do in gypsy culture is to take advantage of the dead, it is the ultimate offense... One of the biggest insults in the gypsy language translates to "eat your dead". When Django died, didn't Joseph stop playing guitar for a few years? that's how serious death is for Gypsies. When Dorado s old bass player died, he stopped for a few years as well... Back when Lulu Reinhardt was still alive, one had to be careful not to mention the song Noto Swing because the person whom he wrote it for (I guess Noto?? whoever he is) was dead.

    BTW , this toxic need to compare players is a silly thing, it can be done in a positive way, but this negative way of comparing is bizarre, it seems so common with the new wave of gadjo gypsy jazz players "x is better than y" kind of mentality... Gypsies are not perfect, but with them, I've always had the greatest of times, and their energy was always so positive. Competitiveness and jealousy exists among them as well, but i've always found it to be a very childish kind of competitiveness (like django being upset that stephane's name was first, or matcho winterstein being upset when he was hired to play rhythm for angelo debarre and he didn't get to solo). What the gypsies love above all else is sincerity; the way many of them play is so sincere, whether they're good or not, and i really appreciate that. I 'm not sure how to put it, but oh well...

    pickitjohnWim Glenn
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited July 2014 Posts: 743
    dennis wrote: »
    BTW , this toxic need to compare players is a silly thing, it can be done in a positive way, but this negative way of comparing is bizarre, it seems so common with the new wave of gadjo gypsy jazz players "x is better than y" kind of mentality...

    Hope that this answer finds you well!

    I 'm afraid you could be wrong Dennis as the curve bends of positive in negative as it gains mass, you know those things can quite easily be calculated if mathematics aren't an opinion, if you have time I will try to explain it to you : :shock:

    Let's drop the plectrum and take the chalk and make the first step together: we will start with the Big One that explains all:

    After that it will be easier to conceptualize Django Delta the Ferrets in a single formula that pleases everybody!
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2021, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2021 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.046509 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes