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Django Legacy – The Music of Django Reinhardt & the Birth of...

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  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 959
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    Chris I have to disagree, his metaphor is quite relevant and IMO true.
    Sorry, I am not explaining myself too well today; as a metaphor of course it fits, I just meant in the literal sense this is not a racers forum but coincidentally summed up my career perfectly.
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    edited February 2015 Posts: 959
    Anyway, maybe to avoid too many angry responses to the above, I did start out by saying I was probably oversimplifying the question. Maybe I should modify my statement by saying yes of course there are many Gadje who can play convincingly and it would not take long to catch me out in a blindfold test to see if I can guess who is playing; Dennis of course, Sebastian and probably quite a few others would have me fooled. Same for La Pompe, Samy Daussat in France or Dave Kelbie in England would keep up with the best too. I guess what I meant to say was that although I have seen and heard many non-Gypsy guitarists who have the knowledge and technique to play all the right notes, even copy Django solos note for note, most of them lack that indefinable ingredient. And that is the hardest part, I guess it can't be learned, you either have it, or you don't. It is like the old cliché 'Can a white man sing the blues?' many tried, few sound convincing.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited February 2015 Posts: 1,852

    Don't worry, I don't think anybody's angry, Chris?

    The fact is people who play any genre of music have an advantage when they are part of a musical culture that's centred on that music.

    To me GJ has many of the same cultural features as bluegrass--- no, you don't have to be a white American southerner to play bluegrass "authentically" or well, but let's face it, the kid who grew up in a family where everyone plays bluegrass and started playing at an early age is going to have a natural advantage over, say, the European guy who got serious about bluegrass at age 22, and practices incessantly, but has trouble finding other knowledgeable players to jam with.

    So, yes, there are a lot of great "authentic" GJ players who are actually gypsies, but yes, there are also some "outsiders" like Dennis Chang, Rino van Hooijdonk, etc. etc. who have immersed themselves into the culture and the musical style to the point where they have become outstanding exemplars of the tradition, as much as or even more than a lot of the guys who were immersed in the style from birth.


    Buco
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 959
    stuart wrote: »
    Dark Eyes is also not a gypsy tune by the way -- Django wasn't even the first jazz artist to record it.

    I do agree though that the best players in this genre are gypsies and that whatever the genre's origins, today this is a genre very much owned by them.
    Hah, I didn't realise one had to be so pedantic on this forum. Of course Dark Eyes or Les Yeux Noirs is another name for Ochi Chernye a Russian song from the 19th Century with lyrics by Yevhen Hrebinka set to a tune by Hermann, and has indeed been recorded probably almost as many times as Stardust. The Red Army Choir among others do a great choral version, but my favourite take, sung in Russian, was from a 1990s TV special by French singer Patricia Kaas with the Red Army Choir behind her. No, of course it is not a Gypsy tune, neither is Limehouse Blues, Czardas, Chicago or La Mer, but it has become a standard of the Gypsy repertoire. Django was not the first, or last, to record Nagasaki either, but he sure did the definitive GJ version!
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    .......... and ended up working fifteen years in F1 (now retired).
    Which team?

  • edited February 2015 Posts: 3,707
    I beleive the original (Russian or Slavic) version of Dark Eyes was in 3/4 time.

    Gypsy Gadge, Martian, whatever, any music you grow up with is going to be the language that one has the easiest most natural fluency. Doesn't mean that one can't learn it well though. I know some Bluegrass players here who are just as articulate as the guys in Nashville....admittedly they started in their early teems. Immersing yourself in the music and culture 24/7 listening actively, practising well, playing with peers a lot will go a long way.

    Keep in mind though that one of the acknowledged greatest writers in the English language grew up speaking Polish.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 959
    .......... and ended up working fifteen years in F1 (now retired).
    Which team?
    Arrows, Stewart & Jaguar.

  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,159
    btw, i stumbled upon this video a while back and it was very interesting. Skip straight to 6:42



    I know nothing about soukous and couldn't tell the difference between an "authentic" player and a "non-authentic" player, but what he says is so very interesting, and i would agree with him. It's what Chris Martin is talking about.

    Growing up within a certain musical culture is a huge advantage but it's not everything of course. Jay mentions bluegrass players in western canada. However, I would say that bluegrass is a more popular style of music than say GJ or soukous, and the culture was therefore easily spread across North America.

    It's certainly possible to learn a new musical culture "authentically" (whatever that means) without traveling to the source, if one trains his/her ears properly and does enough research... it's about being able to hear the nuances beyond figuring out the notes.. Being able to hear the attack, being able to hear the timing, being able to hear the duration of notes, ornaments, etc...

    I can think of one fellow in Australia , Jon Delaney who has totally nailed Tchavolo Schmitt's style. If I'm not mistaken, when he was learning this stuff, he was learning it from Australia with practically no contact Gypsy musicians.. That's what I call incredible ears and dedication

    pickitjohnJazzaferriBillDaCostaWilliams
  • Amen
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Thank you for this articulate, well-researched article which was informative and a pleasure to read. A question: is a "Gypsy Swing" guitarist the same as a "Gypsy Jazz" guitarist? Is it just a matter of semantics?

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