I went down to check out an up and coming gypsy jazz group "Hot Club of Berkeley" tonight. By the way, they are terrific. I have a feeling lead guitarist/composer George Cole is going to be a major gypsy jazz voice in the US in the next few years. They also have some amazing original compositions, and that already put them ahead of most gypsy jazz groups I've heard. Their site here: http://www.hotclubofberkeley.com
dont miss them for Djangofest SF!.
Anyway, to my suprise George was playing on a 1932 Selmer Maccafferi (#103 to be exact).
After I introduced myself as a gypsy jazz player, George graciously invited me to play on it. Holding the instrument, I don't remember the last time my heart was beating so fast. It was a truly surreal and divine experience. The guitar had more soul and history than anything I have ever played. He had it set up wonderfully and it played like a dream. I was suprised at how wide the neck was, but I got used to it immediately.
Mr. Cole pointed out that there was a scuff behind the bridge, which seemed to indicate that somebody who performed in a tuxedo (with cuff links) may have owned and played it... and you know what that could mean.... wishful thinking, of course, but you never know.
I don't know, maybe some of you have played on a selmer, but for me it just seemed like a once in a lifetime deal. I'm still glowing after the experience.
Edit: Oh yeah, he also had a 1971 Favino oval, which I also got to play. It was like a gypsy jazz heaven.