Author Topic: Jazz manouche  (Read 10200 times)

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Leon

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Jazz manouche
« on: January 12, 2011, 07:26:03 AM »
I posted this in the "Make A Jazz Noise Here" thread, but thought it might be nice to have a thread dedicated to this music where I'll update with representative CDs and new discoveries.  I hope others will do the same.

An sub-genre of jazz that I find myself becoming more and more interested in is “Gypsy Jazz”, also known as Gypsy Swing, Jazz manouche – and generally considered invented and popularized by Django Reinhardt and a few others in the 1930s-1950s, primarily in Europe, specifically in Paris.

The style is characterized by the drumless five or six piece combo with an instrumentation usually containing a lead guitar, two rhythm guitars, violin or accordion and bass.  Reinhardt’s Quintette du Hot Club de France is one of the most famous exponents of this music, but there were many others such as brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt's own brother Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt.   The classic makeup of Reinhardt’s group is well known and included jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

Outside of France, the music was expressed in several Baltic states, Romania and Macedonia especially.

The music is typified by a strong rhythm drive provided by the two rhythm guitars and fast runs by the lead guitar often combining a jazz/swing feel within a dark, chromatic harmonic and melodic context.

Although Django Reinhardt died in 1953, the music has remained popular and spawned many musicians who are active today.

One is the teenage prodigy, Biréli Lagrène, who at age 13 played such a convincing version of the Reinhardt style that expert aficionados had trouble telling the difference between his debut recording, Routes to Django, and the Reinhardt originals.  He later went into electric fusion and departed from the Reinhardt style but has returned to his roots; now with a unique voice and no longer merely a Reinhardt imitator.

Along with Biréli Lagrène, Tim Kliphuis, Stochelo Rosenberg, Joscho Stephan and Angelo Debarre are other active Gypsy Jazz stylists today.

The Benelux countries, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and Romania all have bands performing this music, with their own regional twists.  Originally the Hungarian and Romania bands employed the traditional instruments kobza and cimbalom but some recent manifestations of this music have replaced them with electric guitar and synthesizers creating a kind fusion jazz heavily influenced by the older music.  However, a revivalist school has chosen to keep the violin, accordion, fiddle and saxophone of the original bands.

The guitar preferred by these groups is one of special construction first made by the French instrument maker, Selmer – but who ceased manufacturing the guitar in 1952.  The original guitars are very rare and  quite expensive but several luthiers are making very good replicas of the Selmer design.

The guitars are large, and broad shouldered with a distinctive sound hole, either a wide-mouthed “D” shape or a smaller vertical oval.  The guitars with the D-shaped sound hole are mostly used by the rhythm guitarists and the small oval sound holed guitars used by the lead players.  But both guitars are known for their loud projection, unique tone and ability to cut through large ensembles.

JWC Guitars is a well known maker and has a nice gallery on their website.

Here’s another website devoted to Gypsy Jazz that is a kind of one-stop-shop for CDs, books and even instruments.  There is also a forum with fairly active participation.

I have always been interested in this music, but only lately have I made a concerted effort to track down some recordings by other bands beyond the Django Reinhardt originals and Lagrène tracks.

I think anyone interested in jazz guitar would enjoy this music.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 02:26:32 PM by Leon »

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 11:07:01 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RhpCQKQVRoc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/RhpCQKQVRoc</a>

A representative clip of the classic group and style - Romane, great manouche guitarist.  The first minute+ is devoted to a bass solo but at around 1:30 Romane begins his solo.  Unfortunately, the sync is off and the video does not match the audio, but this is worth viewing, nonetheless.


Romane et Stochelo Rosenberg

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/8-Q3rNurhAo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/8-Q3rNurhAo</a>

A nice slip featuring Stochelo Rosenberg, one of three brothers in this genre, accompanied by Romane.


Rosenberg Trio - Nuages

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/U7UHmKfUAu8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/U7UHmKfUAu8</a>

A classic Django song very well done by the Rosernberg Trio.


Django doing the same song

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/LY2BQk9s11Y" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/LY2BQk9s11Y</a>

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 11:30:11 AM »
Very interesting and enjoyable stuff. I just checked out your links on my laptop, so I'll have to listen again on a better sound system. (The bass solo is reduced to a series of twangs and clacks on this little speaker.)

All of the clips have what I'd consider a swing groove.  Is that a required element of manouche, or just a coincidence with these samples?
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 11:41:43 AM »
Very interesting and enjoyable stuff. I just checked out your links on my laptop, so I'll have to listen again on a better sound system. (The bass solo is reduced to a series of twangs and clacks on this little speaker.)

All of the clips have what I'd consider a swing groove.  Is that a required element of manouche, or just a coincidence with these samples?

The "swing groove" is intregral to this style.  It was an outgrowth of the swing music of the 1930s, but took on a style of its own due to the difference in harmonic and cultural influences.  Having said that, manouche is not limited to the swing sound, but can take on a more eastern European sound when done by musicians from Hungary, Romania or Macedonia, or even verging on flamenco - but the most characterisitc style is swing.

I'm glad you enjoyed it - I find this music very interesting.

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 10:02:39 AM »
Here's a quote from a very informative post on a Gypsy Jazz forum:

Quote
In order to correctly understand the current state of jazz manouche, it's important that we get a brief, generational family tree. Currently there are four generations of Gypsy Jazz guitarists going back to Django's era. They are as follows:

The first generation are contemporaries of Django, but are limited to those guitarists who were active professionally while he was still alive, but limited to those whose actually recorded during Django's reign. There are guitarists who were indeed active during this period and also recorded, but they simply didn't come into their own to receive what little recognition they got. Tchan-Tchou would be a perfect example. Note: These are not complete lists, general, known players names are used (and some obscure ones as well)

The first generation, early 1930's to the early 1950's: Matelo, Baro, Sarane and Challain Ferret, Eugene Vees, Henri Crolla, Jacques Montagne, Joseph Reinhardt, Gusti Malha, Leo Slab, Lousson Baumgartner, Didi Duprat.

The second generation, mid to late 1950's through the early 1970's: Mondine Garcia, Ninine Garcia, Chatou Garcia, Piton Reinhardt, Spatzo Adel, Niglo Adel, Vivian Villerstein, Maurice Ferret, Joseph Pouville, Tchan-Tchou, Bousquet, Cardi, Schnuckenack Reinhardt, Häns'che Weiss, Romansj, Laro Sollero, Angelo, René Maihles, Babik Reinhardt

The third generation, mid 1970's through the mid to late 1980's - Dorado Schmitt, Tchavolo Schmitt, Mandino Reinhardt, Hono Winterstein, Bireli Lagrene, Mito Loeffler, Titi Winterstein, Romane, Laurent Bajata, Martin Weiss, Traubeli Weiss, Romani Weiss, Mike Reinhardt, Samson Reinhardt, Coco Reinhardt, Tchouta Adel, Jeannot "Titotte" Mahla, Raphael Fays, Fapy Lafertin

The fourth generation, late 1980's to the present: Jimmy Rosenberg, Samson Schmitt, Dino Mehrstein, Yorgui Loeffler, Dallas Baumgartner, Mundine Garcia, Rocky Garcia, Rocky Fallone, Noe Reinhardt, Moreno, Angelo Debarre, David Reinhardt, Mano Drey, Kussi Weiss, Tchocolo Winterstein, Doudou Cuillierre.

Again, this list is by no means exhaustive, just enough to give you an idea as to who came onto the scene at what point. You should also be able to tell, by where the players come from, who their teachers were. You can begin to draw a picture of how the music was handed down through the generations.

If I follow thorugh with it, I will try to add clips and/or CD suggestions for as many of these musicians as I can find.

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 01:11:52 PM »
Here's a clip of the Ferret Trio (too bad there's no video, but the sound is good).  While most of this music is in swing 4/4, there is also a lot of waltzes, of which this is a nice example.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/8J0fCpY2twE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/8J0fCpY2twE</a>

If you want to read some biographical information about MATELO FERRET, this site is an encylcopedia of Gypsy Jazz.

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 02:40:35 PM »
Tchan Tchou Vidal - Les Deux Guitares

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JCoF6NPG3zw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JCoF6NPG3zw</a>

Paul "Tchan Tchou" Vidal 1923 - 1999

Born in Aix-en-Provence, he gains the name "Tchan Tchou" from an aunt who says he looks like a Chinaman.

His first steps to the guitar came from his father and later from Django Reinhardt a family friend. In 1946 he helps form the "Hot Cub de Jazz of Lyon" a reasonably successfull group, they made some radio and television performances.

His playing style was not standard Gypsy Jazz but his technicality of playing was second to none. He favoured the waltz and made a seminal composition "La Gitane" which is a very popular technical piece and is played in public by those that dare.

His style though not held in esteem at the time is now recognised as a unique extension of the ever evolving Gypsy Jazz method.

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 08:35:35 AM »
The Second Generation

Maurice Ferret et Joseph Pouville-Nuages

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/N-pRxUS8CBo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/N-pRxUS8CBo</a>

This is another version of the Manouche standard Nuages, a song made popular by Django Reinhardt and often played by Gypsy jazz groups.  In an earlier post there's one of Django's recordings of this song, as well as,  a version played by the Ferret Trio

Here, Maurice is accompanied by Joseph Pouville, one of the best rhythm guitarists.  The roles of the guitarists are fairly well-defined and most players decide early on if they are better at soloing or playing rhythm.  Each has it own demands and while the soloist is more out front and usually has the attention and acclaim, the rhythm guitarist's swing and sense of time is arguably the more important, and harder to master, aspect of the music.

The first obstacle most people encounter when exposed to Manouche is a difficulty in distinguishing one guitarist from another.  This is made harder since most of them use the same kind of guitar lending a certain sameness to the tone of each (although an experienced fan can easily tell the difference).  I thought I'd post different musicians playing the same song so that people might try to pickup on the differences.

This next clip is of Babik Reinhardt, Django's youngest son, who although being rooted firmly in the Manouche style, spent his career branching out into a more generic jazz style.  He most often played an electric jazz guitar instead of the preferred "Selmer" model of most Manouche guitarists and his style is very much akin to Barry Kessel, or Joe Pass - although the Manouche influence is definitely discernable.

Here he is (on the left) playing Nuages with another great Manouche musician Christian Escoude:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/--9rVLVS62U" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/--9rVLVS62U</a>

Unfortunately, he died prematurely in 2001 but left a rich recorded legacy.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 09:05:55 AM by Leon »

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 12:15:08 PM »
There are several styles of music that have emerged from the Gypsy culture: manouche, flamenco and a Balkan style represented by the group Besh O droM:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/y7wx05qGlI8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/y7wx05qGlI8</a>

This music can also approach Klezmer, and in fact the Gypsy and Eastern European Jewish worlds were not that far apart.   When this style merges with Manouche, the violin is replaced with the cimbalom - giving the music an ethereal and enchanting sound.  I wish there were more of this music available, but it is hard to find.

This Wikipedia article is a good reference.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:17:28 PM by Leon »

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 03:32:42 PM »
Very enjoyable performances, but Django was a better swinger, at least in his prime. The influence of Armstrong (who's perhaps the greatest swinger who ever lived) was so powerful in those days that many musicians were compelled to follow in his stead. Nowadays the art of swinging is hopelessly lost in the barrage of technical devices of modern jazz. There haven't been many good swingers for like three decades now, and without swinging Jazz is kinda besides the point.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:34:21 PM by Josquin des Prez »

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 02:11:08 PM »
There haven't been many good swingers for like three decades now, and without swinging Jazz is kinda besides the point.

Or, as Irving Mills and the Duke would say, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing".


Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 08:19:45 AM »
I will end this series of posts with some clips from the Third and Fourth generations of guitarists and hope that as people discover this thread some contributions by others will follow.

One phenomenon associated with this music is that of the prodigy guitarist.  There have been at least two famous examples: Bireli Lagrene and Jimmy Rosenberg.  These kids grow up in families with roots in this music and are surrounded by it from birth and display amazing facility at a young age. 

Below are a couple of clips of Jimmy Rosenberg, when he was 12 or 13 and more recent and then a couple of clips of Bireli Lagrene also, young and then more recent.  But first I wanted to post a clip of The Rosenberg Trio.  Stochelo Rosenberg, cousin to Jimmy, is another star in the Jazz Manouche world.

The Rosenberg Trio - Swing 42
 
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4Jy-XPgLpgc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/4Jy-XPgLpgc</a>

A young Jimmy Rosenberg & Falko Reinhardt [1992] Guitar Swing

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/XpaT2khTRQ8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/XpaT2khTRQ8</a>

Jimmy Rosenberg (solo) [recent television appearance]

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/R7_MOzVMmBM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/R7_MOzVMmBM</a>

Bireli Lagrene - at 12 years of age

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/K3pOkAzGGUI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/K3pOkAzGGUI</a>

Bireli Lagrene & Stochelo Rosenberg play Chick Corea's  Spain

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_HSOy6JoSe4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_HSOy6JoSe4</a>

A Gypsy Jazz Discography

Basics:

One of the Django box sets, either

Djangologie



or Intregrale



Both are multi-disc collections and are the best introduction to this music. 


After that there are several other anthologies, such as the Proper box: Gypsy Jazz



 - or the ongoing Jazz Manouche series




There is also a series from the Django Festivals: New York and NW (Northwest).
 





Some Major Gypsy Jazz Artists:

Angelo Debarre

Babik Reinhardt

Bireli Lagrene

Boulou and Elios Ferre & HERE

Dorado Schmitt
 
Jimmy Rosenberg

Fapy Lafertin

Latcho Drom

Robin Nolan Trio

Rosenberg Trio

John Jorgenson


The Gypsy culture has produced three strains of music: Manouche, Flamenco & Gypsy Balkan folk music - and all of them are appealing to me - and while they share some characterisitics, all are quite unique.  However, what is common to all this music is a dark, expressive emotional character coupled with melodic and rhythmic sophistication.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 09:34:50 AM by Leon »

Offline RJR

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2011, 08:30:53 AM »
Christian Escoudé, the Wes Montgomery of Gypsy Jazz. His Hommage to Django is a must have.

Saw Bireli Lagrene in Montreal over twenty years ago. Played Django style and contemporary style. Fantastic. There was also a Gypsy Night in Montreal in the early 90s to close the Jazz Festival. Junior members of the Rosenberg family were the highlight of the night.

Leon

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Re: Jazz manouche
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 04:21:25 PM »
Christian Escoudé, the Wes Montgomery of Gypsy Jazz. His Hommage to Django is a must have.

Saw Bireli Lagrene in Montreal over twenty years ago. Played Django style and contemporary style. Fantastic. There was also a Gypsy Night in Montreal in the early 90s to close the Jazz Festival. Junior members of the Rosenberg family were the highlight of the night.

Christian Escoudé is great - he's done a record with Charlie Haden that is fantastic, as well as a live date at the Village Vanguard with Hank Jones, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Washington.