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New / rare pic of Django Reinhardt and G. Lévecque

13

Comments

  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited February 2016 Posts: 768
    Here are Distel own words :

    I went to the Club Saint Germain ", Sacha Dystel tells. " Django played there with saxophonist Jean-Claude Forenbach. I settled down in the front row. I did not particularly like that, to be frank, but all the same, Django had really impressed me. At a moment of the evening, he gave me his guitar to play something. I was used to play on a guitar with strings rather low on the neck. Those of Django were high. It is not fingers that were necessary to press the strings but steel pliers. I was practically not able to play on this guitar. It is necessary also to say that I was scared. I played very fast and at the end, he told me: "ah, you know, I like the way you play, we should make a record together". Django Reinhardt asking me to make a record with him, I was at once much more interested in his music! Unfortunately, he disappeared during the next year.
    Buco
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited February 2016 Posts: 768
    Here is Distel playing Django's Nuages:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pryBbzOFkPk
  • gatsbygatsby United States✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 119
    Thanks Spatzo! That's exactly the anecdote I was thinking of, he must have written it somewhere else too. His cover of Nuages is good!
  • Les Paul played his guitar. Wonder if he ever made any comments about the action. He was such a technically brilliant guy his comment would be very reliable.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    spatzo wrote: »
    ....... he gave me his guitar to play something. I was used to play on a guitar with strings rather low on the neck. Those of Django were high. It is not fingers that were necessary to press the strings but steel pliers. I was practically not able to play on this guitar.
    As I suggested before, Distel was used to a guitar with low action whereas Sam Adams was probably used to a guitar with high action so they could well have had a completely different view as to how "high" Django's was.

    I doubt Django could have played at the speed and fluency he did in the upper register if the action had been very high even with his powerful fingers.
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,445
    I doubt Django could have played at the speed and fluency he did in the upper register if the action had been very high even with his powerful fingers.

    I doubt Django could have played with the tone and volume he did in the upper register if the action had been very low even with his powerful fingers.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    My view is that Django neither had a particularly high or particularly low action. Of the three people we know actually saw/played Django's guitar, Sam Adams, probably a typical high action acoustic guitarist of that time thought it was low whereas Sacha Distel, who we know had a low action, thought it was high. Alan Hodgkiss did not think the action was worth commenting on, just the lightness of the strings. It was probably typical of the sort of action most Selmer style guitar players have today.

    I doubt we will ever know for certain.
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    edited February 2016 Posts: 768
    Les Paul completely customized the Selmer guitar he had from Django or from his family or adquired with the help of Django's family. He took away the zero fret, placed a kind of artisanal trussrod on the neck, broke the harmonic table to insert a microphone, etc. As he played on electric guitars usually who knows if his advice would have been usefull.

    I think that Adams was used to play on big strings as many guitarists in those times (See Eddie Lang incredible gauges 6 - 73; 5 - 48; 4 - 38; 3 - 30; 2 - 20; 1 - 15) so even if the action was high he certainly might have had a sensation of relative easiness. He said that Django's 6th string was in diameter approx his own usual 4th string...

    It is hard to decide but I remember I tried for example Nous'che's Selmer and I couldn't get the tone he had without efforts and the action was very high. My own Favino has a low action and a discrete volume but if I go up a couple of mm with the bridge it almost doubles the sound but makes the guitar hard to play.

    On another hand Distel said he was practically not able to play but played very fast, for me a kind of seeming contradiction...
    pickitjohn
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    Well let's get back to those rare photos Jean-Marie Pallen has. Here is a version of one that appears in the video.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,257
    Another one taken at the same time. Not particularly rare but a nice one I think.
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