"The Music of Django Reinhardt" by Benjamin Givan

Discussion on Django and his contemporaries

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Postby Djangoslefthandman » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:23 pm

Based in Hampshire, this time of year gigging around Southampton, Basingstoke & Winchester areas We go further afield when the weathers better in the Summer.

Next 2 gigs are in Southampton, the Blue Keys & the Platform (Sat & Tues)

I normally use an AKG contact condenser mic/pre amp into an AER trying to get an acoustic sound. The Stimer is in reserve in the gig bag, last used in a really loud pub just before xmas.

Sadly we are currently using the name 'Manouche a tois' . We were a quartet last Saturday ! My fav line up: Clarinet, guitar x2 & double bass. Often go out as a trio.

If you are in the area drop in with a guitar (I'm a lefty) & you can try the Stimer. Expensive but authentic IMHO.
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Postby Djangoslefthandman » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:39 pm

Thrip have you got the book yet ? Any thoughts?
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Postby Thrip » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:29 pm

No I haven't got it yet. Probably not for a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to it though!
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Postby Thrip » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:54 am

Well I've had the book for a while, although progress is slow. As said before you really need to have the audio to hand as you're reading and these two things don't coincide for me that often. Having said that there are times when I can hear the examples in my head, mainly due to me being so familiar with them rather than any amazing reading skills.

I am thoroughly enjoying it and think it's a must have for any serious student of Django.

The thing that comes across most to me is how what we know today as Gypsy Jazz with it's cliches and non stop flurries of sixteenth notes is only a tiny part of what Django was all about. As a player it's really making me think about how to get more of his amazing musicality into my playing.
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Postby Teddy Dupont » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:50 pm

Thrip wrote:The thing that comes across most to me is how what we know today as Gypsy Jazz with it's cliches and non stop flurries of sixteenth notes is only a tiny part of what Django was all about.

I agree. This comes across very strongly and is something with which I wholeheartedly agree although my views have always been based on a qualitative rather than quantitative judgement.
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Postby Agent » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:47 pm

Teddy Dupont wrote:
Thrip wrote:The thing that comes across most to me is how what we know today as Gypsy Jazz with it's cliches and non stop flurries of sixteenth notes is only a tiny part of what Django was all about.

I agree. This comes across very strongly and is something with which I wholeheartedly agree although my views have always been based on a qualitative rather than quantitative judgement.


I feel ambivalent about this book. It's gratifying that Django's music has received such a thorough treatment, and it's enlightening to listen from a new perspective. However, there are frustrating passages, where it feels like he's straining - and succeeding, no doubt - to satisfy academic conventions, but obscuring the immediacy of the music. Or perhaps I'm not used to working to get something I think I already know.
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Postby Djangoslefthandman » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:47 pm

Teddy Dupont wrote:

'my views have always been based on a qualitative rather than quantitative judgement. "


Could you elaborate on this point Teddy. I'm not sure I get it.

I'm sure you'd agree the quality of the playing of the top practitioners of 'gypsy jazz' in terms of sound and technique is phenomenal. So is it the lack of originality and/or restricted scope that you object to ?

If that is the case what do you make of groups like Les doigts de l’homme, Zaïti and Selmer 607 who are extending the boundaries a bit ?

Working through the book it becomes progressively harder to believe one man could accomplish what Django achieved in a shortened life. Given that this was at the very beginning of mass media and the disruptive war years how did he get exposed to and absorb such a variety of influences ?

[/quote]
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Postby stublag » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:37 am

Thrip wrote:I love that late Django distorted sound! Stochelo is achieving it with one of these amps http://www.pechealamouche.ch/pechealamo ... dex.php/en specifically designed for that purpose. I suppose it's a love it or hate it thing. It certainly has nothing to do with acoustic guitar sound!


i totally agree! --i love that crunch on the electric recordings;so much more character than the 'mellow' archtop sound so preferred by most of the U.S boppers-i find it strange that all the U.S players who cite Charlie Christian as their main influence didn't emulate his great rocking electric sound-with the exception of barney kessel.In my experience the only people who like that 'under the blankets' mellow archtop sound are other archtop players.
Adrien Moignard gets a great electric sound on his pretty much note for note rendition of Djangos 1947 Dinette on the Generation Django cd
Still i think it is a bit of a Marmite situation-- you love it or hate it.
Btw can someone list the main transcriptions used in the Music of Django Reinhardt book?...sounds very interesting.
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Postby Djangoslefthandman » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:33 pm

Stu

Lot's of examples but these are the ones he references on his uni web site:

Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "I'll See You In My Dreams," recorded on June 30, 1939. One of Reinhardt's most famous recordings, this three-minute version of Isham Jones's 1924 theme spotlights the guitarist throughout in an effortlessly inventive performance.


Paramount Stomp
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Paramount Stomp," recorded on December 7, 1937. On a disc that also featured violinists Stéphane Grappelli and Michel Warlop, Reinhardt plays a solo notable for its long-range melodic descents.


Festival Swing
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Festival Swing," recorded on December 26, 1940. Recorded the day after France celebrated its first Christmas under wartime Nazi occupation, "Fesitval Swing" is performed by an all-star big-band featuring the best French jazz musicians of the day, with spoken introductions by the critic Charles Delaunay.


Django's Tiger
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Django's Tiger," recorded on January 31, 1946. An exuberant postwar improvisation based on the harmonies of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band's "Tiger Rag".


Embraceable You
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Embraceable You," recorded on January 31, 1946. A spirited uptempo rendition of George Gershwin's classic song.


Coquette
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Coquette," recorded on January 31, 1946. A sparkling midtempo solo from the postwar record session that reunited Reinhardt with his former musical colleague Stéphane Grappelli for the first time since 1939.


I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," recorded on May 4, 1936. A leisurely version of the classic 1928 Jimmy McHugh song.


Charleston
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Charleston," recorded on April 21, 1937. A rousing performance of James P. Johnson's most famous composition.


Solitude
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Solitude," recorded on April 21, 1937. A stately rendering of a ballad by Duke Ellington.


A Little Love, A Little Kiss
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "A Little Love, A Little Kiss," recorded on April 6, 1937. An unaccompanied presentation of the song's verse, likely inspired by Eddie Lang's 1927 solo recording of the same theme.


The Sheik of Araby
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "The Sheik of Araby," recorded on April 27, 1937. A driving improvisation illustrating Reinhardt's technical facility in the guitar's lower register.


Saint Louis Blues
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Saint Louis Blues," recorded on September 9, 1937. During the habanera section of this familiar 1914 composition, Reinhardt characteristically interpolates ornamental melodic passages between each phrase of W.C. Handy's theme.


Honeysuckle Rose
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Honeysuckle Rose," recorded on January 31, 1938. A romping performance of Fats Waller's famous song, recorded during an interwar tour of Britain.


Love's Melody
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Love's Melody," recorded on February 1, 1946. A graceful rhapsodic improvisation on an original theme.


H.C.Q. Strut
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "H.C.Q. Strut," recorded on August 25, 1939. Recorded at the peak of Reinhardt's career, only days before the outbreak of World War II.


Miss Columbia
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Miss Columbia," recorded in September or October 1928. One of Reinhardt's earliest recordings finds him playing the banjo-guitar in a musette ensemble only weeks before he was severely injured in a caravan fire.


Solid Old Man
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Solid Old Man," recorded on April 5, 1939. Recorded with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, this slow blues was the subject of one of the earliest published analyses of Reinhardt's playing, by the French composer and critic André Hodeir.


Blues for Ike
Django Reinhardt's guitar solo on "Blues for Ike," recorded on March 10, 1953. Only two months before his death at the age of forty-three, this medium-tempo blues finds Reinhardt playing the electric guitar in the company of several other leading French postwar jazz musicians.
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Postby stublag » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:49 pm

thanks for the info Ray--think it sounds worth getting--i was surprised to see amazon uk have got in stock
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