Would Django laugh at us today?

The first thirty years are the worst

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Stefan
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Would Django laugh at us today?

Post by Stefan »

Granted, wanting to follow in this great tradition and legacy of his, we want to emulate Django as much as possible, down to tecnigue and picking patterns. But what if Django was alive today. Would he tell us...Why are you playing like me? Creative something new.

Django was an innovator, just like Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and so forth.... They took what was available and made new stuff out of it. Made it better, better technique, new and better phrasings etc... So I just wonder...Are we sheep? Followers not leaders....

This is not meant to inflame or anything, just a thought I had.

Any thoughts about this?
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Caballero
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Post by Caballero »

I think Django would laugh at Teddy Dupont's leg-waxing business.
kcox
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Post by kcox »

I don't know about the music, but he'd definitely dig the adulation!

K
c'est chaud!!!!!!!
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mr moto
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Post by mr moto »

truly innovative musicians and artists are ,incredibly rare like django or picasso , such talents only ever come along once in a generation , i think django would love the adulation and respect of his fellow muso,s not to mention the wealth such fame would bring . it,s good to try new things and experiment ,but let,s be honest here, when was the last time you heard something new that just knocked you clean off your feet ? me? i am a lousy guitarist if i,m honest, but the feeling i get when i have figured out a new peice and feel that i have learned something new , new to me at least , just cant be beat . and anyway this music is meant to be fun not an intellectual excersize :D
life is what happens while you are busy making plans for the future
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Post by Mobreau »

I think Django would be flattered or maybe amused, it depends on your level of playing, in my case it would be the latter! I reckon it would also depend on the circumstances. If he was in the middle of a jam at some bar with some fellow gypsies and they were swinging, you poll up edge in and crucify whatever piece they were playing I doubt he'd be to happy, you do see that at Samois now. But if you were sat in a bar playing and he turned up I think he'd try and egg you on a bit and probably sit down and have a play himself. God Knows. On the subject of inovation and what he would think of contemporary artists, I would love to know which players in the style he would have most admiration for. Possibly he would hold little interest in alot of it, but ther's a few guys out there who i'm sure he'd "dig".
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Post by Teddy Dupont »

The current approach to playing gypsy jazz is the complete antipathy of everything Django stood for and believed in. He hated repitition. He hated the idea of musical rules and limitations whether conceptual or technical. I think he would be bewildered by what is happening now and find it just a bit laughable if not totally ridiculous. However, I also feel he could not help but be pleased and flattered that the music he created in the thirties is flourishing some seventy years later to the extent of his solos being copied note-for-note by both earnest novices and world famous professionals.

It is particularly poignant when you reflect on the fact that he died feeling he was a forgotten man and everything he had created and was still creating was no longer of interest.
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Post by Mobreau »

Beutiful :cry:
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Teddy Dupont
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Post by Teddy Dupont »

Caballero wrote:I think Django would laugh at Teddy Dupont's leg-waxing business.
Why would he? :shock: Are still sulking because Trudy dropped some hot wax on your privates whilst she was trying to do something with those gorilla like legs of yours? I thought you were more than happy with our compensation of a large water-proof elastoplast and 3 nights with Zoot.
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Post by stublag »

Teddy Dupont wrote:The current approach to playing gypsy jazz is the complete antipathy of everything Django stood for and believed in. He hated repitition. He hated the idea of musical rules and limitations whether conceptual or technical. I think he would be bewildered by what is happening now and find it just a bit laughable if not totally ridiculous. However, I also feel he could not help but be pleased and flattered that the music he created in the thirties is flourishing some seventy years later to the extent of his solos being copied note-for-note by both earnest novices and world famous professionals.

It is particularly poignant when you reflect on the fact that he died feeling he was a forgotten man and everything he had created and was still creating was no longer of interest.

Teddy
I love the way you take it on yourself to tell us what Django would of thought ;-)
YOU don't know;I don't know!!
What i think he would like is that his Music (HIS music i emphasize) would still be being played by his Gypsy kin and disciples--thats what would make him most proud.
As Babik said--"First and foremost my father was a Gypsy"

Hey...but what did Babik know??

Stu
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Post by Mobreau »

He knew how to ware a mean hairpiece.
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Post by Teddy Dupont »

stublag wrote:I love the way you take it on yourself to tell us what Django would of thought ;-)
YOU don't know;I don't know!!
Most of what is said about Django is actually an opinion rather than a statement of fact but do you not think it is a bit fatuous to keep writing "in my opinion"? We are all surely grown up enough to realise that. 8) I don't think anyone knew what he really thought about anything including Naguine. I've just based my comments on having studied him for the last 50 years.
stublag wrote:What i think he would like is that his Music (HIS music i emphasize) would still be being played by his Gypsy kin and disciples--thats what would make him most proud.
I could not disagree more with that statement but that, I would hasten to add, is only my opinion. :roll:
stublag wrote:As Babik said--"First and foremost my father was a Gypsy"
I have always thought this was a very silly comment but that is only my opinion. :(
stublag wrote:Hey...but what did Babik know??
On the basis that he was very young when Django died, possibly not very much. It is conceivable I have actually listen to, read and talked more about Django than Babik ever did but that is only my opinion. :cry:

Humble enough for you Stu? :D
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radiotone
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Where can Selmer swing go?

Post by radiotone »

Leaving aside what Django would think of the scene, there's the question of where the current crop is taking the music. I'll propose a theory and let others tear it to shreds:

The Selmer's uniqueness in tone becomes a limiting factor when you try to push Gypsy Jazz too far into other directions. The magic dissappears, and you are left with generic jazz or "Friday Night in San Francisco" hot licks playing. Or easy listening music.

I realize this leads to the conservative position that the only way it can be played is the way Django played it. I'm not sure I believe this.

But I don't know if you can abandon the pompe or the driving swing feel of the soloing and accents and be left with a music that I'd spend much time listening to. The repetoire could certainly be expanded--both with existing swing-era tunes and with new material. I think the instrumentation that sounds good alongside a Selmer is also important. I'd love to be proven wrong, but Baro Ferret notwithstanding, I don't see the music embracing organs, oboes, tablas, or dulcimers and coming up with much that's for the ages. Well, maybe Birelli could do a tabla and Selmer album.

I guess it all comes down to the creativity of the person trying to expand the boundaries. I don't think Birelli's electric records will be essential listening to future music fans in the way that John Scofield's will be, despite the fact that he brought a lot of Django into that realm. But maybe someone else could come up with a hybrid that will work. Marc Ribot's Los Cubano's Postizos albums fuse old and new in a way I think is very successful.
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Post by Mobreau »

The Ferre Brothers have generally stayed loyal to there Macs and left "La Pompe" behind. Albums such as relax and enjoy show what authority the Mac has even in a more mainsteram setting. In fact any number of there Albums show the Mac as adaptable to any setting in the right hands.
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Post by DennisC »

at the core, i dont think this music has been intellectualized.... this is only happenning outside the gypsy world...

i was translating a masterclass for herve gaguenetti and he was showing the chords to All Of Me, at one point someone pointed that a chord was wrong because theoretically it would not accomodate the melody.... technically he's "right" but musically the dissonance is barely (if at all) noticeable... it took a bit to convince him that it was "ok" to play the "wrong" chord

then i had to translate a ritary masterclass... someone asked why he mainly uses three fingers; ritary didn't even know himself, he just does what he thinks feels good...

then another guy asked about the rest-stroke technique ; ritary drew a blank, he had no clue what a rest stroke was.... (and yes he does use rest strokes)

the fact of the matter is these guys aren't concerned with technical details... when they learn, they learn by watching their elders/cousins play, and having someone coach them and also by trial and error... it's the most natural way....

unfortunately, we don't have access to direct quality instruction, so we need books with all these technical terms and whatnot... but at the same time, it's important not to get TOO caught up with the rules and everything...
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Post by stublag »

Teddy Dupont wrote:
stublag wrote:I love the way you take it on yourself to tell us what Django would of thought ;-)
YOU don't know;I don't know!!
Most of what is said about Django is actually an opinion rather than a statement of fact but do you not think it is a bit fatuous to keep writing "in my opinion"? We are all surely grown up enough to realise that. 8) I don't think anyone knew what he really thought about anything including Naguine. I've just based my comments on having studied him for the last 50 years.D

...and with respect
I think its something INCREDIBLE that someone could have 'studied' Django for almost 50 years and NOT realise the importance of the right hand in this music--or even understand the basics of the technique;forget Scots opinion and,for what its worth,mine.
Just listen to the music or REALLY watch the Le Jazz Hot video!!!!!!
Ask Fapy,Tcha Limberger or Lollo how 'unimportant' it is--they maybe 'gypsies' of course--but 'despite' that they may have some insights into this music ;-)
Cheers
Stu
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