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The Great Gypsy Jazz Debate in the Wake of the 1970s

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  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,690
    I've got a book of Ayeroff's transcriptions from the 1970's but could never read well enough to get much out if it. Has anybody ever thought of reissuing those books with TAB?
    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."
  • edited April 2015 Posts: 3,707
    My take on his biggest influences are Pops, Hawk and Benny Carter. Having studied Benny Carters playing for sax I know of two Benny Carter licks that Django used. The one I can remember the location of at the moment. The last phrase of the first chorus of his solo of Blues Clair is the same lick that Benny played on Farewell Blues in a recording with DR earlier that same year. Hopefully the other quote will come back. I hear a lot of horn phrasing in DR's playing a la Barney Bigard except using different techniques when a horn player would sustain a longer note that the acoustic guitar couldn't do.

    Some of the history experts might have more insights on who he acknowledged other than Pops.
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,131
    django lifted a lot of stochelo rosenberg and bireli lagrene licks as well
    BucoMichaelHorowitzJontherealguyfi
  • Posts: 3,575
    Oh Django, you never rest, even as deceased.
    And neither do you Dennis.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • I think Part of Django's genius is that the music that he heard that spoke to him popped out in his playing without conscious effort or laboriously learning someone else's licks like most of us neurotypical people.

    In that regard, I suspect he had access to some what are now called savant syndrome skills.
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,131
    on a more serious note, we know Django was a proud man with a huge ego... and as much of a genius as he is, i'm fairly certain he got a lot out of all sorts of musicians, even the ones he thinks of as inferior, such as mr lang...

    I've talked about this before, but i also have my suspicion that Django got a particular arpeggio shape from Charlie Christian as well (dominant 9th shape starting on the A string, which Charlie Christian used all the time). Django started really using it after Charlie came on the scene. ( we can notably hear it on Django's 1947 minor swing). Nothing I can prove with certainty of course, but just a suspicion.

    Django downplaying Lang 's influence reminds me of certain contemporary shredders who dress and play like yngwie malmsteen but deny that he was a major influence
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited April 2015 Posts: 1,690
    Mr. Chang, thanks for the nod to Mr. Lang!

    It's nice to see my other guitar hero get the respect that is rightfully his as the "Wright Brothers" of jazz guitar. If anybody has ever unearthed the existence of any jazz guitarist earlier than Eddie Lang, please tell me!

    We do know from photo evidence that some of the early New Orleans jazz bands had guitarists, but alas there is no phonographic evidence of what they sounded like. We can only conjecture that they must have had one hell of a time playing solos without amplification of any kind!

    ############

    On one of his solos, backing a French singer whose name I can't remember, Django copies a Lang "bent note" lick note for note.

    Plus there is Grappelli's memory of Django telling him at their first meeting he wanted a violin player to do a Venuti-Lang duo.

    There is also a quote from Grapelli "Eddie Lang was a superb player."

    So it seems reasonable to assume that Lang did have some sort of influence over Django, even though there is no known quote of Django explicitly saying so.

    ######

    That being said, I can't really imagine Django seriously studying Lang's playing, for a variety of reasons:

    a) it would have been out of character, b) I don't think Django could have physically played the same kind of chord voicings as Eddie even if he wanted to because Lang had (and used) a strong left pinkie c) Eddie's solos tend to be more pentatonic than Django's more arpeggio-based stuff.

    But could Django have listened to recordings of the top (white) US jazz musicians of the late 20's and early 30's, like Lang and Venuti as well as their musical brethren like Rollini, Benny Goodman, the Dorseys, Bix and Trumbauer without feeling excited and inspired?

    I can't believe that.

    And could Django have listened to virtuoso Venuti-Lang compositions like "Doin' Things" "Apple Blossoms" "Wildcat", and many others without being enthusiastic and inspired about composing his own music?

    I cant believe that either.

    #############

    However, just to make it clear, as much as I revere both Lang and Django, they were fundamentally different kinds of cats, and you can't 'compare apples to oranges'.

    Django's genius was as a soloist, although he was a very competent accompanist.

    Eddie's genius was as an accompanist, although he was a very competent soloist.

    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."
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,690
    Plus let's not forget Louis Armstrong's influence on Django… take a look at this 1932 clip of Louis and tell me what Django tune it reminds you of!

    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."
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