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Bireli's guitar

Slightly baffled as to why he'd use this type of guitar as opposed to a GJ guitar. Are there upsides to using it? It's the first time I've seen one used (or is it because he was bored of using regular GJ guitars and because it's an amplified gig it's not going to make a lot of difference). Thanks in advance


  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    edited May 2018 Posts: 497
    I haven't seen any other pictures of him with that particular guitar - maybe it was one of several that were presented for him to use at this location (possibly he flew straight to the show and didn't want to bother carrying one of his personal guitars). It could be he just wanted to try something a little different that night. Who knows? Drop him an email and ask him...LOL
  • Posts: 2,889
    Bireli in particular seems unconcerned about the guitars he's performing with. Which isn't that surprising given his versatility as a musician. At least this nylon string sounds more authentic than the Stratocaster looking electric he's been using recently also.
    Andrew Ulle
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    Bireli has played just about every type of guitar over the years....I have a weird fetish for his 80s era Ovation recordings:

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 551
    Birili isn't concerned with being authentic
  • Posts: 2,889
    Yes Scott, but it's more like there just is no way for him to be non-authentic even if he tried. Bireli could be international unit for authenticity.
    Like "this new band I heard measures 86.4 BGJU".
    Andrew Ulle
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 309
    So @Buco , does that make Birelli Lagrene the gypsy jazz version of Chuck Norris? Can we start a new meme? =)

    Birelli is so awesome, he only needs 1 string to compose a solo.
    Birelli saw Django's astonishing clip of J'attendrai, laughed, and then ripped an exact note-for-note replica...with ONE finger.
    Birelli is so bad, he does two handed tapping....with only one hand!
    Birelli saw Freddie Green's 1-1/4" inch string action and wondered "why was it so low?"
    BucoAndrew Ullerindtj24
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,116
    Bireli s been feeling trapped with the whole Django thing. Of course, he comes from the Django tradition and he loves and respects it, but he yearns for quite a lot more. Unfortunately, his name is automatically tied to Gypsy Jazz and it's what pays his bills so he's forced to do it.

    He currently favors guitars that are set up in such a way that he can use hybrid techniques and mix different influences.
    Bill Da Costa WilliamsJosechikyJojo
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 309
    Not surprised there, Dennis. I think that is apparent to anyone who has watched the trajectory of his career. He had such early acclaim in the GJ style but then branched out to more traditional guitar jazz---and by traditional I don't mean boring. When you can hang with guys like Al Di Meola, Jaco Pastorius, Larry Coryell, etc., you know you've got the gift.

    I think Gipsy Project was his first foray back into the GJ style after over a decade if I remember correctly. People were so happy to see him back to playing the style that they clamored for the album.

    Personally, I love to see this music breathe and grow. I love the standards but I also enjoy things like the Lost Fingers re-doing 80s pop standards or Robin Nolan doing AC/DC. After all, Django was just playing his own versions of pop standards of the day similar to Wes Montgomery during his later years. Bireli has definitely played in a style that is unique to him blending all his influences and shown his virtuosity.

    For me, it is hard to be playing a show and announcing a song that was "a #1 tune just about 100 years ago" and looking out at a sea of 30-50 somethings who have no idea and never heard it. The basic GJ repetoire is great, there are some beautiful melodies, etc. but I think every style either has to live and grow or it becomes "museum jazz" where people sit down and politely golf clap after every song. Far better IMHO is to get them up and dancing as that was the intent of this music all along. If it takes an interpretation of a more modern dance song that they know to do that, then all the better in my mind. Pepper in some of the older tunes along the way and you can bring them all under what I think should be the big tent of the Django style.
    Andrew UlleBill Da Costa WilliamsBucoJosechiky
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,924
    For me, it is hard to be playing a show and announcing a song that was "a #1 tune just about 100 years ago" and looking out at a sea of 30-50 somethings who have no idea and never heard it.

    I just tell 'em I wrote it! JK

    Actually, that's one thing that is cool about the genre. Most people have never heard it (at least that they know of). I've even had pro jazz musicians come up to me at a gig and ask me "what was the name of that song" for obvious GJ standards like Douce Ambiance. A lot of people think you've invented something new :-)
  • Posts: 2,889
    I like both of what is said above but...

    Why is that you hear a lot about this music originally being meant as the music for dancing?
    I think that's just a romantic notion, this idealized picture in people's mind.
    For musicians of the day though, why would you think they intended the music to be made and played for dancing? I think that was a lucky accident, the sign of the times. It's was popular at the moment. But the musicians and Django, he and they just had an itch to express themselves through music. The music got composed, arranged and played for whatever paid the bills. If I had to guess and pick what Django might have preferred, between the room full of dancers and a bar full of people admiring his skills and his artistry, I'd pick the latter.
    Sure when it comes to the tempo, I like to play and listen to it when it can be danced to because that's what I'm more comfortable with and the melodies don't get lost like they sometimes do at the breakneck speeds.

    This thread deviated quickly...

    So back to Bireli, I'd actually like to hear what is it that he would like to do musically if he didn't have to worry about paying the bills whatsoever? There isn't a whole lot he didn't do. His career has been more varied than anybody's else I can think of that I listened to and followed in my lifetime.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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