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Most interesting arrangements of gypsy jazz tunes?

AidasAidas New


I was wondering, since this style is mostly based on the players' and their ability to perform this music: to improvise endlessly and come up with various melodic ideas on the spot, is there any really well thought out arrangements of some songs?

Because, although, listening to great players is amazing, it can get a bit boring after an hour into a concert.

Any suggestions for listening?



  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 494

    Many people will point you to the band Les Doigts De L'Homme. They're the kings of gypsy jazz arrangement. :) I'd start with the album "1910."

    Second, try to find the album "Django Reinhardt Joue Avec Les Guitars Unlimited" by the French band Guitars Unlimited, from the 1960s. They took Django's last recording session from 1953 (Nuages, September Song, Night And Day, etc.) and overdubbed harmonized guitar arrangements. Some might call it sacrilege, but I find it quite enjoyable!

    Also check out The Hedgehog Sextet. Finally, Eva Sur Seine w/ Thomas Baggerman Trio have some subtle but great arrangements.



    AidasJosechikyterrassierWim Glenn
  • AidasAidas New
    Posts: 2


    Thanks, already listening to Les Doigts De L'Homme and will check others out soon

  • geese_comgeese_com Madison, WINew 503
    Posts: 255

    Another group worth checking out is Ultrafaux. They play Django inspired originals kind of like Les Doigts de L'Homme.

  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 502

    Biel Ballester is interesting also, but I don’t know if he’s still active...

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,025

    I thought this is a pretty interesting arrangement of Django's Fleche D'Or

    AidasBill Da Costa Williams
  • spatzospatzo Virtuoso
    Posts: 743

    Hi Aidas,

    First I should said that many of the arrangements you will find in Gypsy Jazz directly come from Django's ideas so the best is always to listen to Django rather than to follow let's say the "followers". For exemple Django often changes the key during the same tune is this surely gives breath to a concert. Here and there he plays double voices with Grappelly...There are a lot of simple ideas that can be a source of suggestions for a concert.

    I think it's better not to copy directly Django note for note as it's just like stealing something of course as long as you want to play Jazz.

    I personnaly do like for example what Mike Ferro did with Django's tunes and the arrangements they made around those standards.

    The music is still Django's one but the spirit is something quite different. You can hear the music here :

    However I think the fun in music is to try to create something even if simple


  • PapsPierPapsPier ✭✭
    Posts: 411

    Spatzo is so right: if you want arrangements listen to Django. One of the best examples of Djangos compositions being thought as guitarist piece rather than as a group, arranged piece is the tune Duke and Dukie. The piece by Django is so rich and arranged but nowadays the guitarists just keep a few bits from that and make a theme solo theme classic song.

    For a new take on classic tunes, you can listen to Romane DJango vision.

    Romane has a few more written pieces that are worth listening too: Double jeu, LEgende etc.

    The old german recordings (Tit Winterstein, Hansche weiss) have some good arrangements (but it is not the "big" standards)

    And to talk about arrangements, do you remember guys the movie Les fils du vent with moreno, Angelo, Tchavolo and Ninine? They talk for five minutes about Ok you you go first, then you, then me and finally you and we do this and that. And as soon as the song starts, nobody follows the arrangement but it is still fine :)

  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 327

    I thought this is a pretty interesting arrangement of Django's Fleche D'Or

    It is indeed a great version.

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