on 10/9/07 10:39, Patrice Champarou at patrice.champarou@...
My brother often insists that there was no jazz tradition among the Gypsy
community prior to Django, and the still vivid style which did become
traditional owes mostly everything to him. He always had an incredible
number of followers and my limited experience in my brother's group proved
that even a very "average" combo playing Django's music was sure to appeal
to popular audience. There has been a recent "revival" of the so-called
Gypsy Swing, with what I would call great technicians who are not *all* good
musicians IMO, however fast and loud they can play; but also a number of
"greats", and very clever insertion of the style into their music by good
and comparatevely young French singers. Besides large festivals like Samois,
many obscure groups have always kept playing that music in small cafés like,
for instance, the one hidden in the midlle of the StOuen/Clignancourt flea
market touching the north of Paris. I do not like exaggerated and
enthusiastic statements, but in this case I think it is not an exaggeration
to say that Django's music is still alive here ;-)
No need for joking, Patrice. In my experience it's a rare French town that
doesn't yield at least one group of 'gypsy-swing' buskers on market day.
One group I encountered on the streets of Montpellier a couple of years ago
was so good I bought their CD-R. They were called Taraf de Ialomita. I still
haven't bothered to find out what it means!
We can argue from now until kingdom come whether this stuff is really jazz,
but it's certainly really very enjoyable and rewarding music.
Is Jean Vaissade's 1930 recording of 'Sonny Boy' jazz? If so, had Django
really fed into Roma tradition this early. As Django had worked with
Vaissade it's possible. And anyway this a trick question in view of the
presence of Felix Valvert.
If anyone's looking for the roots of Django's approach to jazz it can be
found in the recordings of Eddie South. I suspect some Roma musicians were
as strongly influenced by South as he was by them and long before anyone had
heard of Django.
Personally I think Oscar Aléman is a far superior jazz musician to Django,
and much prefer listening to his recordings in the Hot Club idiom than to
the originals, but having said that I'll go and hide in a bunker!
Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
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