Django's repertoire from around the world

alexborowskialexborowski Albuquerque
edited October 2009 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 7
I've been reading Michael Dregni's biography on Django, and every time he mentions Django's early days playing valse musettes or playing foxtrots and tangos in swing groups or the anecdote about him playing a Neapolitan love song to an Italian jail keeper to get out of prison, I'm curious as to where he picked up all this different repertoire and if there are any resources around today which we could learn these old, traditional songs from or if they're mostly just passed down by ear. Anybody know any of these old traditional songs or where they might be transcribed for today's players to learn?


  • JazzDawgJazzDawg New
    Posts: 264
    That's a good question. I don't have the answer to it, unfortunately, though I'd be interested in knowing some of those tunes.

    Though, this might not give you exactly what you are seeking, I do find it interesting that some of the early records of Django before his days with the 'Hot Club' are available. Take a look at this site, and read the notes. That is an amazing collection, and the first volumes have recordings I've never heard.
  • GregLewisGregLewis Chicago, IL (Oak Park)New
    Posts: 68
    I like those songs as well, especially the waltz musette one. It takes a lot of looking on the net. Stephane Wrembel's first CD has a few, and that's where I started. There are also some collections in accordion books.

  • WColsherWColsher PhiladelphiaNew
    Posts: 53
    I'm curious as to where he picked up all this different repertoire

    That's actually easy to answer in a general way - Django and his peers were gigging maniacs. As you've learned from Dregni, those guys played every night, they swapped seats in different orchestras, sat in and jammed between sets and after hours...

    And of course they were gypsies! When the weather turned in Paris, they headed south, played the tourist traps, busked on the streets, and met players from everywhere. Their gypsy brothers and sisters were traveling all over Europe too, drawing in influences from their travels and meeting up on the road and at annual religious pilgrimages.

    Incidentally, our noble host currently has the Integrale Django CDs in stock at his newly remodeled store.
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 658
    There is a lot of information on this subject in the history section of this forum.
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