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20 Essential Albums

billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
edited June 2020 in Repertoire Posts: 396

I just this afternoon found an old copy of Guitarist Acoustic (a French guitar magazine Issue #2 from Aug-Oct 2004) and they have a list of 20 essential albums for "guitare manouche." I thought it might be an interesting discussion to see which ones people think should remain on the list and which might be replaced (either by other albums they missed or by new artists since). The original article recognizes the perilous and arbitrary nature of such a list. It privileged some certain "important" figures but realized that it couldn't avoid certain injustices (i.e. Tchan-Tchou or Jimmy Rosenberg missing...) So, keep those rules in mind and make your case for 1-3 artists that should be on there and maybe 1-3 you might leave off. It goes without saying that this could be a list comprised of Integrale Vol 1 -20 but I think it is meant to be those NOT including Django himself.

  1. Joseph Reinhardt - Joseph Reinhardt joue Django (1958)
  2. Baro Ferre - Swing Valses d'hier et d'auhourd'hui
  3. Jo Privat - Manouche Partie
  4. Matelot Ferre - Tsiganskaia etc.
  5. Hans'che Weiss Quintett (feat. Lulu R. & Titi W.) Funf Jahre Musik Deutcher Tzigeuner (1977)
  6. Boulou & Elios Ferre-Pour Django
  7. Christian Escoude & Charlie Haden - Gitane
  8. Christian Escoude/Boulou F./Babik R. - Three of a Kind
  9. Bireli Lagrene - Routes to Django & The Complete Gipsy Project (they cheated here by adding two)
  10. Raphael Fays & Charles Wizen - Djangology
  11. Angelo Debarre - Gypsy Guitars
  12. Rosenberg Trio - Seresta
  13. Dorado Schmitt feat. Tchavalo S. & Patrick Saussois - Swing 93
  14. Romane - Quintet (1994)
  15. Romane & Stochelo - Elegance
  16. Fapy Lafertin & Le Jazz - Swing Guitars
  17. Mandino Reinhardt - Note Manouche
  18. Dino Mehrstein - Point de Depart (this just came on the board last week)
  19. Samson Schmitt - Djieske
  20. Gipsy Jazz School compilation



  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 396

    I'll just add that there are a lot of fantastic albums and artists that I would want to include without losing so many of these. Maybe the intervening 16 years since this was published should give us at least 5 extra spots on the list? So...Top 25? That might make it a bit easier.

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 558

    A bunch of good recordings, that's for sure. But no list like this is complete without Sarrane Ferret, Ninine and Mondine, Maurice Ferre/Joseph Pouville, Patrick Saussois/Alma Sinti, Tchan-Tchou and Bousquet. Personally, I'd swap "Note Manouche" with Mandino's later CD "Digo a Dives", Fapy/Le Jazz with his album "Star Eyes" which is one of the best recordings by anybody. Remove the two Escoude CDs and replace with the one he did with Paul Ferret "Holidays". Finally I think Richard Galliano's CD "Viaggio" with Birili on guitar ought to be in everyone's library - it's Manouche Partie" brought up to date and Birili's playing is transcendent.

    Arbitrary, of course, but we all have our favorites - I could make a list of 50 and still feel like I was leaving a lot out...

    PassacagliaBucobillyshakesBill Da Costa WilliamsAndo
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,413

    Any other Samson Schmitt's in particular (looking to include Benji Winterstein)?


    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 396

    Arbitrary, of course, but we all have our favorites - I could make a list of 50 and still feel like I was leaving a lot out...

    I couldn't agree with you more here. Thought it would be interesting to see what people would add. Because of my personal experiences, I have always enjoyed Lollo Meier's playing and would add his "Hondarribia" because I also love the clarinet sound with Django's music. Also, I think the De Piotto's disc is incredible and I return to it often. Some songs feature Storro Limberger on trumpet and that is also fun to hear (esp. "Sunny Side of the Street"). I think their inclusion of the Gipsy Jazz School compilation was an easy way to include a bunch of the older players in one go and placate the ire of some who would lament their absence.

    I too felt the inclusion of 2 Escoude discs might have been too much and perhaps belies the French audience for which the list was meant? I got a chance to see him play many years ago and enjoyed his playing. Another player I saw long ago but was recently reminded of was Moreno. His disc with Angelo is a great listen but so too is Yochka. Fierce, articulate playing.

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 233

    They've done pretty well. I might swap the Romane album for Swing in Nashville. It's stripped down to just a trio playing virtually all Django and standards and Romane's guitar sounds really nice on it.

    Anyone want to see some Robin Nolan in there? I love his first album.

    No Jimmy there either, thats a bit naughty.

  • PhilPhil Portland, ORModerator Anastasio
    edited June 2020 Posts: 653

    Of course this is impossible, but fun...😎IMHO no list is complete without:

    Bamboula Ferret and Fapy Lafertin - Ou welto risella

    Colin Cosimini - Janine

    Lollo Meier & Fapy Lafertin - Plachterida

    Raphael Fays - Night in Caravan

    Boulou and Elios Ferre - The Rainbow of Life

    Bireli Lagrene - Gypsy Trio

    Nitcho Reinhardt - Latcho Dives

    Alma Sinti - La Roulotte

  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Paris swing, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    edited June 2020 Posts: 261

    Boulou and Elios - Trinity (has Nels Henning Orsted Pederson on Bass)

  • MikeKMikeK Asheville, NCNew Altamira M-10, Altamira M-01D, Epiphone Joe Pass
    Posts: 98

    Are there any other Oscar Aleman fans out there in Djangobook-land? I'm a huge fan. He's my 2nd favorite GJ guitarist, of course Django is my #1. His compilation album "Swing Guitar Masterpieces 1938-1957" is excellent to my ears and I would include it in any top GJ album list. It's so interesting to hear the way he handles such classics as Sweet Sue, Limehouse, Daphne & Lady Be Good, so different, yet similar to Django. And his version of Russian Lullaby (later covered exquisitely by Jerry Garcia Band) is my favorite tune on the album. My trio plays it regularly and it is often well received. Another essential album I would include is John Jorgensen's "Franco-American Swing". It's nice to hear such a versatile musician, so diverse and world renowned, play this music that we love, as his own labor of love.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 396

    Bamboula Ferret and Fapy Lafertin - Ou welto risella

    @Phil Glad you mentioned this one. This is another I really enjoy. His singing captures a different vibe than a lot of the fast, virtuosic playing on other albums.

  • PhilPhil Portland, ORModerator Anastasio
    Posts: 653

    I forgot to include the essential

    "Gipsy Feelings" - Titi Winterstein...a classic!!!

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