DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Related Discussions

Who's Online (1)

  • billyshakes 4:42AM

Today's Birthday

stubby

Django's Guitars on the Rome Sessions

MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
in History Posts: 5,970
This discussion was created from comments split from: How many guitars?.
«13

Comments

  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,217
    Question for Teddy Dupont: did Django own the Selmer he used for the Rome sessions, or did he just show up sans guitar and play what someone put in his hands?
    It is impossible to be absolutely sure. The majority of photos over this period show him with Selmer 503. By this time in his career, Django was no longer a big star and he had to be more circumspect about how he behaved. Consequently, he realised he had to actually take his own guitar to gigs and on tour!!! :shock: My view is that it is his Selmer at the Rome sessions with Grappelli.

    Having said that, he played a Rio at the 1948 Nice festival and a Gibson when jamming with Challain Ferret whilst there. That is odd but it may be because the string quintet was a last minute addition to the festival and Django was very unhappy about it. All the indications are that he normally played a Selmer when with Grappelli. Without checking, I can only recall one photo after 1935 where Django is with Steph and playing a different make of guitar and that is at a 1937 jam session with Coleman Hawkins where he appears to have borrowed Marcel Bianchi's Carbonel.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Thanks, Teddy. I've read that the Rome sessions Selmer was a round hole, which seems an odd duck for a 600-series guitar. Every now and then a Selmer that doesn't fit the profile emerges. 520 has a Spanish heel and four braces, 565 has a one-piece neck/headstock like that late Selmers(both are wartime guitars), the Rome sessions guitar supposedly had a round sound hole…
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,217
    The Rome recording sessions with Grappelli are still shrouded in mystery so I would be interested to hear how somebody had that specific knowledge of the guitar Django played. Can you remember where you read it?
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 387
    Wasn't the Rome guitar for sale some years ago? If my memory is right many parts were replaced, among them the top. Anyway, I have wondered if this really was the guitar that he used in those sessions. If so, he owned at least one more Selmer besides #503.

    Also, there's the Selmer that he, according to the book by Antoinetto and Billard, cut a hole in the back of and used on the last recording sessions (if I remember correctly). Strange story, but possibly yet another Selmer that he owned, or?
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    edited January 2014 Posts: 1,002
    Selmer 704 is listed in the log book as having been sold (or given!) to "Django Raynal," which is certainly Django, given that Selmer altered the names of other "name" players in the logbook as well, i.e "Chapus" for Chaput for Selmer 575. On page 37 of Fabio Lossani's book of Rome session transcriptions, Django Reinhart…in Italy, there is a photograph of Selmer 704 with a round hold ( I had misremembered that it was a 600-series guitar). Teddy, I think I found an explanation in this article, from Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2000. The claim that the round-hole top was a replacement done for Django makes sense, because in the photograph, the rosette looks nothing like a Selmer (too narrow). On page 7 of his book, Lossani also has a photo of a Mogar guitar with a round hole, supposedly used by Django in Rome. "D Reinhardt" is carved into the top in neat block letters, which I'm guessing wouldn't have been done by Django himself. So between the Mogar and the re-topped Selmer, along with Django's association with Selmer guitars, one can see how the mistaken idea that Django was playing a round-hole Selmer in Rome may have gotten legs. Selmer 704 has since been re-topped by Dupont with an oval sound hole and supposedly given a new fret board. Anyway, here is the article I mentioned above:

    SELMER MODEL JAZZ By Michael Simmons

    "(Acoustic Guitar november 2000)

    AIthough the Selmer guitar company made a wide variety of instruments, including harp guitars, various styles of classical guitar, four‑string tenors, and seven‑string Hawaiian models, it is primarily known for the Modele Jazz made famous by Django Reinhardt. Selmer produced about 900 guitars between 1932 and 1952, about half of which were built in the oval‑hole, Modele Jazz style. The Modele Jazz has laminated Indian rosewood back and sides, a solid spruce top, an ebony fingerboard, and a walnut neck with a grafted headstock. Its unique features include a very long, 26½ -inch scale length and sealed gears, which were invented by Mario Maccaferri, the man who designed the original Selmer guitar.As part of his endorsement deal with Selmer, Reinhardt was allowed to take a guitar from the builder's showroom every now and then, which he would later sell or give away to friends or family. Because of this, nearly everyone who owns a Modele Jazz believes that it once belonged to Reinhardt, even if he only had it for a couple of days. Of all the Selmers said to have been Reinhardt's, only two come with proof. The first is #503, which Reinhardt picked up in 1940 and used until his death in 1953. Reinhardt's son Babik played this guitar until his mother donated it to the Musée Instrumental de Paris 1964. The other is #704, the guitar pictured here. This is the only instrument the Selmer logbooks show as baving been shipped to Reinhardt (even if his name was spelled "Django Raynal" by the Selmer clerk who logged it in).Reinhardt picked up this guitar in 1948 just before a tour of Italy, during which the originai top was crushed. An unknown Italian luthier replaced the top, using a round soundhole rather than Selmer's distinctive oval. Reinhardt gave the repaired guitar to his partner Stéphane Grappelli, who in turn gave it to an Italian friend. The guitar remained with Grappelli's friend in Rome until it was sold a few years ago. French luthier Maurice Dupont restored it to Selmer specifications using a 50‑year‑old piece of spruce and also replaced the fingerboard. Although the guitar is no longer in its originai condition, it is one of the only Selmers that Diango Reinhardt unequivocally owned and played."

    I have no way to replicate the pictures, but Michael sells the book that they are in.

    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    Posts: 387
    Ah yes, that's it! Thanks for filling in the blanks of my poor memory. :)
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    edited January 2014 Posts: 1,217
    There is no doubt Django owned many Selmers over the years but he never collected them. They usually came and went very quickly; damaged, lost, given to friends. 503 is the only one we know he kept for any length of time.

    Here is a photo of him playing the Mogar at the Rome sessions with Ekyan. There has never really been a definitive explanation as to why he used this instead of his amplified Selmer but anything is possible with Django.

    ..............It would not let me upload the photo so I have abandond it. Bring back the old forum where it was all so much easier 8-|
    Wim Glenn
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    edited January 2014 Posts: 1,217
    Bugger me!!! It did upload the photo after all. Here are a couple of much later photos of the Mogar.
    Wim Glenn
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,217
    Here's a compilation of some of the non-Selmer guitars Django played. The American Gibson appears several times and the Rio twice.
    Wim Glenn
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2021 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2021 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.047342 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.45079 Megabytes
Kryptronic