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Valse Manouche - Django or not?

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  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,111
    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: http://www.patrus53.com/sarane-ferret , 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: 731
    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:

    https://cds.cern.ch/record/1664295

    After that it will be easier to conceptualize Django Delta the Ferrets in a single formula that pleases everybody!
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 543
    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...

    What Dennis said here was exactly what I meant when I said that what Wim suggested was impossible. Read "Gypsy World" by Patrick Williams for more info; it's available in English.

    More about Sarrane later...
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,100
    As much as I love arguing on the internet :-bd don't have any facts or evidence to back up any of that stuff. All I was saying was that I found the idea, which was mentioned earlier in this thread, a convincing explanation for the existence of these totally misfit "django" tunes. Be it fact or fiction, a cheeky move by someone involved with Ferrets personally or professionally, is just interesting speculation !

    Anyway, no offense intended (and none taken). For the record, I do actually like a lot the music of this family, so I wasn't meaning to dish dirt - Baro's valses are awesome, I listen to heaps of Sarane, Matelot has some cool stuff that is novel from django too (see here for example). I never heard anything of Boulou or Elios that I liked, but if anyone has recommendations I will check 'em out ..
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,174
    scot wrote: »
    .

    Sarrane never recorded with Django because he wanted always to be the boss.

    But Sarane is surely playing rhythm here.



  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 543
    You're correct, Sarrane did play rhythm on those recordings. But with Baro, when he wanted something, whether it was your name, your guitar or your presence at a gig, you didn't - couldn't - say no. Francis told me a story - Babik Reinhardt had gotten a Selmer guitar from an old Russian that was a truly extraordinary guitar. Baro heard it and soon he had somehow convinced Babik to "give" it to him. This sounds like an exaggerated story - but then several years later a guitarist in the American southwest told me a very similar story. In 1969 while on a hippie-style road trip, this guitarist had bought a Favino in Paris. It was just a guitar to him. Later on this same trip, he stayed a spell in a hotel in a beach town in SW France. Also in this hotel were two hard-drinking older jazz musicians, Baro Ferret and Geo Dali, who were playing in a local restaurant. Baro was playing a Favino, but the one he had was not nearly as good as the one our American guitarist had. Baro insisted that they swap guitars and made it clear that he really did not have any choice in the matter, that Baro was going to have his guitar either way... So he gave it up. All these years later he still had the other Favino but wasn't playing it. Baro was a hard man and did not mind flexing his muscle - these are just two of many similar stories people told me.

    Plus as far as recordings go, it was a family thing and the brothers often played on each others sessions.

    This particular Selmer and another one owned by the Ferrets at the same time were described by Francis Moerman as being so unforgettable in tone that he'd never heard another guitar to match them. They were stolen by a taxi driver after a gig. Absolutely certain that he would recognize the sound of either guitar in an instant, he'd been listening to guitars since those two disappeared, hoping that they'd turn up. But he never heard either of them ever again.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    edited August 2014 Posts: 1,174
    I can believe that about Baro. From what I have read and heard about him and from what has been implied by several people, he does seem to have been a guy you would not want to mess with.

    I get the impression Django found him a fun person to be with but I'm not sure Grappelli or Delaunay felt the same way. According to Louis Vola, Delaunay tried unsuccessfully to lessen the "gypsy stronghold" on the Quintette in the thirties.
  • From what I have read, Delauney thought Baro a gangster in that 30's era meaning of the word. He certainly has a hard look about him in some photo's

    Great stories. Keep em coming guys. I and I am certain many others love to read this stuff.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Separate topic, from what I understand of Roma culture is that while it may be ok to take advantage of the gadje world, by and large Roma don't do so with their own, particularly their own tribe.

    And as has been said their way of dealing with death would. IMO preclude any posthumous attribution of a song to another unless their was some truth to the deceased creating the song or playing a phrase or phrases That formed the basis for the tune. A contrefact plus kinda thing.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 403
    Thanks for these beautiful stories (with lots of mystery).

    I have just read the whole topic and comments this afternoon. And tonight I am listening to the CD Musik deutscher zigeuner n°4. Two nice waltzes are played by Hans'che Weiss on this CD : Valse a Tschawo and Valse a Prinzo.
    In fact these two waltzes are La Gitane et Chez Jacquet. I don't have the credits with me but on Djangostation, it seems that these two waltzes are the only tracks of the CD which are not credited to any composer...
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