Valse Manouche - Django or not?



  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    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: 1,173
    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: 1,203
    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: 559
    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: 1,203
    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: 411
    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...
  • kevingcoxkevingcox Nova Scotia✭✭✭✭ Dupont MD50
    Posts: 298
    There are a number of songs with questionable titles in that collection.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 559
    Those recordings were made in 1972 (I am pretty sure) and some of the musicians lived behind the Iron Curtain, where gypsy life was still traditional and very much apart from mainstream German "life". The original recordings would have been extremely hard to obtain. This music was thus transmitted via homemade cassettes often without labels or other identification, or otherwise via various forms of the folk process. Musicians just learned the tunes and put name to them to identify one from another - kind of like fiddle tunes here... This whole story is covered in detail in "Ethnologie Francaise" vol 3 yr 2000 in an wide-ranging article called "Un heritage sans transmission" by Patrick Williams. Those titles are not really questionable, they are just the titles that were in use at that place and time.
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