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Wamble Liner Notes

CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
edited August 2005 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 270
I just picked up Doug Wamble's new album (along with Christian Escoudé's "A Suite for Gypsies"...Amoeba Records rules!) and was perusing the liner notes, written by guitarist Matt Munisteri, when one paragraph leaped out at me. Here is an excerpt:

"Throughout his career, Doug's instrument of choice has been a relatively under-utilized voice in modern Jazz: the acoustic guitar. Yet at a time when every crossroad with a zip code and a convenience store has suddenly sprouted its own 'Hot Club,' Wamble has chosen to forsake the feather-weight tone and shrilly trills of these freshly pencil-mustached young men, and instead tips his hat to the darker, more sonorous syncopations of other guitarists of the 1930s. The often overlooked tones and attackes of Bernard Addison, Mike McKendrick, Teddy Bunn and Oscar Aleman pop up in his modernist phrases in unexpected ways...."

How's that for throwing down the gauntlet? Dang. I really like Wamble and Munisteri, as well as many of the modern Django-stylists. Is Munisteri finding a conflict where there isn't one? Is it just a matter of taste regarding tone? Is he commenting on a perceived drift of Hot Club-style music away from the realm of "Jazz"?



  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 540
    On issue here would be that while influnced by django- neither matt or doug are "django" stylists- mostly they seem to consider themselves jazzers . . . . I really like both of their playing, but each is very "american" in style- and has a lot of other (read- non django) ideas in their playing. Matt has occasionally gotten pegged into a django thing (which he really does pretty well . . . but); but mostly he plays other things . . . . I'm guessing that he feels a bit sick of that comparison.
    They both know so many songs- every time I talk to them or hear them I learn a new tune or about a new player or old banjo person or some crazy great music.
  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    Well, "freshly pencilled mustaches" is a nice line.

    Have you all heard his four-hour interview on WFMU? He's got a sardonic side. Good for him.

    I totally don't get the Aleman thing, BTW, and I find some of Munisteri's guitar work to be needlessly detailed and intellectual. But then my mood changes, and I'll hear it as inventive and smart.

    The world is big enough for the likes of Munisteri, Wamble, and every pencilled Django nut. The more the merrier.
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 540
    Totally forgot about this thread-
    Had a little chat with Matt about all this- he thought it was funny he got mentioned in this context on the net. . . . I will paraphase what he said- I would never bash django, I was trying to give people a comparision to use for dougs style; as I think it's different, but these days, everyone who plays acoustic jazz guitar gets peged as sounding like django- but really there are very few who do it well . . . .
    He's a cool guy- you gotta dig that attitude and all. . . .
    Off to see HCSF in the only time I know of them being in NYC!
    Ps. the advantage of living a few blocks from some of the best musicians in the world- you run into them outside the subway!
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 270
    I just want to pop back in here and make it clear that I'm not bashing anyone for their opinions. I think Munisteri was definitely trying to be provocative in those notes, and I think the idea he brings up is one that's worth discussing: Is Django's music a source or a destination? Obviously, for the "freshly pencil-mustached young men," it's a destination. For Munisteri and Wamble, it seems to be a source. Judging either of these as good or bad depends on your reasons for playing the music in the first place. Perhaps you get a kick out of pushing yourself inch by inch towards Django's incredible work. In that case, it's like learning a piece of classical music and certainly as valid and respectable as playing Chopin. But if you're claiming to play jazz, it seems like there's an obligation to move beyond your source material. Otherwise, it's like declaring yourself a genius for inventing a device that toasts bread. We already have such a device; it's called a toaster. Munisteri and Wamble seem to understand this, and in my opinion, their music is richer for it.

    Sorry if I was vague in my original post. I think my point is now suitably clear: Toast is delicious.
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    Maybe I'll be whipping up croissants in ten years.

    Come to think of it, toast is better for you, and the world marches off to work after it eats its humble toast. No shame in toast, boys and girls.

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