Django's clarinetists?

PolkatPolkat Chico, CANew
edited October 2011 in Woodwinds Posts: 119
Seems that Django preferred clarinetists when Stephane wasn't available. I'm wondering if it was because the violin and clarinet seem to play in a similar range or voice?

Anyway, who were some of the better clarinet players who played with Django?
Violin's swing the best!


  • Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
    Posts: 542
    From the top of my head. I'd say that the most frequent ones were Andre Ekyan and Alix Combelle.
    Andre Ekyan was often playing with Sablon as well.
    But Django's most important collaboration with a Clarinetist was with Hubert Rostaing. Rostaing joined the QHCF in the 1940s during the occupation in France, while Stephane Grappelli stayed in the UK.
    I am sure there are Django Historians experts on the Forum who will be able to tell you more about it.
    - JG
  • JazzmanJazzman Halifax, Nova ScotiaNew
    Posts: 7
    Polkat, you're right. Bb soprano clarinet ( the common version we run into every day) and violin are often playing similar parts. In fact, in arrangements for orchestral wind ensembles the clarinets take the place of violins. Whether Django's decision was by design, or by chance (whoever was handy and had a good reputation at the time) might be best answered by historians.

    I'm just happy that it's worked out that now I get to play some hot jazz with my gypsy pals. :D
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    Jazzman wrote:
    I'm just happy that it's worked out that now I get to play some hot jazz with my gypsy pals. :D

    And I'm happy to be one of your gypsy pals, Jack! Welcome to the forum.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • If I recall correctly Rostaing started out playing another instrument with Django (maybe sax or something) and when Django heard him play clarinet he said to Rostaing something that trranslated along the line of "that is the instrument you should play

    I will have to reread Delauney's bio to be certain"
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • jimvencejimvence Austin, TX✭✭
    Posts: 73
    According to the books from Delaunay and Dregni, when Hubert Rostaing came in, it was not
    necessarily as a clarinetist. When the war started, and Grappelli was in England,
    Django wanted to form a group along the lines of the Benny Goodman quintet.
    For example, he decided to add a drummer (Pierre Fouad) instead of a third guitar.
    He wanted a lead horn instrument, and settled on Rostaing -- initially as tenor sax player.

    Supposedly, Rostaing was struggling a bit with the tenor sax, and so when picked up
    his clarinet (my guess is during some rehearsal), Django suggest he stick with that.
  • Poor old Rostaing overworked and underpaid and having to fend off Stephane's advances.

    I wish it were easier to find works of his post django period over here
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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