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Interview with Django Reinhardt, Eartha Kitt and Benny Goodman

Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
edited July 2018 in History Posts: 459
ina.fr/audio/PHD86057987/concert-de-benny-goodman-a-paris-audio.html

I don't remember if I've seen this mentioned anywhere, but you can listen to an interview in french (and english) here by Charles Delaunay that isn't included on any CD's. Benny tries to speak some french, then Charles Delaunay mentions Django is going to appear as a guest on one of Benny's concerts or something, to which Benny exclaims that it was supposed to be a secret. I'm guessing Django then says he and Benny met at the 400 club (New York City) and after that Eartha Kitt speaks in french. (singer, Catwoman, actress....)

Django's "Oui" sounds more like "Wei", a translation would be nice!
dm7b5BucoMichaelHorowitzwimBillDaCostaWilliams

Comments

  • PompierPompier MarylandNew Cigano GJ-15
    Posts: 62
    This is what I'm hearing:
    Q: Django, lorsque vous étiez aux États-Unis, lorsque vous étiez à New York, vous avez certainement entendu Benny Goodman. C'est à ce moment-là que vous avez fait sa connaissance?
    A: Oui, je l'ai entendu à 400 Club à New York.
    Q: Et il vous a demandé de jouer, je crois, au concert l'après-demain?
    A: Ouais. [cross-talk]

    Translation:
    Q: Django, when you were in the US, when you were in New York, you certainly heard Benny Goodman. Was it at that time that you met him?
    A: Yes, I heard him at 400 Club in New York.
    Q: And he asked you to play, I believe, in concert two days later?
    A: Yeah. [cross-talk]
  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018 Posts: 459
    Ahh, yeah that explains it. The interview is from June 6 1950, and they're talking about the concert at the Palais de Chaillot two days later on June 8 1950.
    Django and Benny performed together for the first time at that concert, according to Django they were just going to improvise some tunes, rehearsal was done on June 1 1950.

    They met at the 400 club in NYC in 1946, but Django wasn't allowed to perform with anyone except Duke Ellington and Band due to US laws concerning visiting forein musicians.

    There's another interview from June 8 1950 just before the concert here:
    ina.fr/audio/PHD86057988/interview-de-django-reinhardt-au-sujet-de-benny-goodman-audio.html

    Or here with English subtitles: https://youtu.be/Q2xxYUuUBmg?t=2m12s
  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018 Posts: 459
    I did some digging and found this on the concert:

    https://books.google.com/books?redir_esc=y&hl=sv&id=dS0KAQAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=june+8

    as well as https://books.google.com/books?id=dS0KAQAAMAAJ&q=benny+goodman+palais+du+chaillot+june+8+1950&dq=benny+goodman+palais+du+chaillot+june+8+1950&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjD8NCK1qvcAhVrOpoKHeqqBx4Q6AEIKDAA

    This 1988 book, "meticulously researched with Goodman's active participation" suggests that this concert was radio broadcast and at least part of it actually recorded to disc. To read more one has to buy the book I think.

    Page 200 (June 8 1950):

    "At least in part, the Paris concert, at the Palais du Chaillot, was broadcast by a French radio network. Extant recordings were taken off the air onto acetates. Because of disc limitation, intro's of some of the selections are clipped, and some have their middle portions excised. But overall, their quality is good, and they are a worthwhile souvenir of Benny's farewell to Europe in 1950."

    If Django appeared as a "surprise" guest, it's possible they did it as an encore and thus it wasn't recorded, but who knows?


    Photo from around this date with Benny Goodman and Django sporting some Bausch&Lomb Ray-ban Aviator sunglasses.
    Buco
  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    edited August 2023 Posts: 601



    As a GJ & jazz clarinet guy, I'm super curious about the one known musical meeting of the King of Swing and the King of the Gypsy Guitar - here's a press preview of their concert on the 9th June, 1950, from "L'Intransigeant", June 9, 1950.

    ///////////////

    BENNY GOODMAN BEGGED DJANGO REINHARDT TO PLAY WITH HIM TONIGHT

    BENNY GOODMAN has the physique of an average American who wears glasses. You can see that he loves music when you look at his tie, which is attached to his shirt by a clip adorned with three notes from the scale.

    This famous band-leader comes to us from Italy, via Switzerland and Belgium

    Barely landed, he met the press in a large hotel on the Champs-Elysees.

    He did not have his clarinet but was holding a glass of champagne in his hand.

    A curious man, this Benny Goodman, who has recorded 4,000 records, but has never played in France. Last summer, he performed, solo, for a single evening in the Principality of Monaco, and, before mingling with the musicians of Aimé Barelli, he wanted to play a Mozart quintet with the string quartet of the Monte Carlo Opera.

    He will give a single concert tonight with his sextet at the Palais de Chaillot.

    But, Benny Goodman does nothing like everyone else. At least nothing like Duke Ellington, whose recent visit has left only bad memories. From the Gare du Nord, Benny Goodman inquired about Django Reinhardt. The business was quickly concluded and, this evening, Benny Goodman will welcome in his formation the famous virtuoso of the quintet of the Hot Club of France

    It might just be a curiosity, but it's also a nice gesture.

    //////////////////

    [Aimé Barelli was a trumpeter & band leader, who would later work with Django. The Palais de Chaillot is in central Paris ]

    I'd be intrigued to find out which tunes BG & DR played together - all I have so far is track lists from the two recorded concerts from earlier in Goodman's 1950 European tour, which might suggest that, to keep musical arrangements simple, the septet (Goodman+sextet) played some of these same pieces with Django ( or perhaps Django only appeared with the Goodman trio) , but we'll see what turns up, perhaps a review.

    <edit: I have found 2 contemporary reviews, so far, neither mention Django. Je vais retourner à la chasse>


    Here's a nice pic of Benny in Paris, 1950.


    -A-

    wimBucoBillDaCostaWilliamsbillyshakes
  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,457

    At least nothing like Duke Ellington, whose recent visit has left only bad memories.

    ...what is that all about?

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 601

    Duke had held the opening night of his European tour in Paris, and I think the show was perhaps a bit disorganised / badly presented. I guess the Parisians felt a little bemused or insulted.

    iirc, one of the Goodman concert reviews (from the same venue as Duke, the Palais de Chaillot.) talks about good sound balance and working amplifiers 'for a change', which may be a subtle reference.

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 601

    Duke's big-band concert series began on 12 April in the same venue in Paris. Although Django had toured in the USA with Ellington in 1946, there seems to be no indication that Duke reached out to DR regarding appearing at the Paris concert, etc.


    Palais de Chaillot, Paris April 1950 concert flyer 

    ""Large original first printing concert flyer advertising Duke Ellington’s stay at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris [France] from Wednesday, 12th April to Sunday, 16th April, 1950, presented by Jules Borkon. Ellington performed eight concerts with his orchestra, including three matinees. The Paris concerts were part of a two month European tour, his first since before World War II. According to reviews at the time, the first concert was poorly received with the audience nearly booing the band off the stage. Especially singer Kay Davis was in for a hard time. It prompted promoter Jules Borkon to write a letter to Ellington expressing his concern for the remaining nights unless Ellington changed the program.""

  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 636
  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc et.al. // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo, Sanchez et. al.
    Posts: 601

    Suspecting a no-show after reading the contemporary reviews of the concert & thanks to an enquiry among the Benny Goodman fans, I have this quote from a Django biography :

    "Michael Dregni's book on Django says the he attended rehearsals for the concert but failed to show on the night of the concert. 'DJANGO, The Life and Times of a Gypsy Legend' P151"


    So, sadly, there will be no newly discovered recordings of the two Kings playing together in concert.

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