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Django

Greg Mellen (911)

Guitar Artists Forum · 1/4/2001 11:01 PM
Django Reinhardt. I just got a cd of his, and, well, it's amazing. It's so humbling that he does what he does with his 2 1/2 (as someone else on the site said) fingers, comparing to what I can do with my 4... Anyone else get that feeling when they listen to this guy? The cd i got is Djangology 49 (I think), and while I can't abide those , uh, violin? (excuse my ignorance please), lines, but Django's guitar lines make up for it.

What does everyone else think about this guy?
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Re: Django

1/4/2001 11:15 PM

Nicolas De Guzman (2715) wrote:

I have recently gotten a lot into django...I think his playing is very tasteful. He is definitely someone I want to get into some more and learn some of the things he does.

Nick.

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Re: Django

1/4/2001 11:41 PM

David Price (2363) wrote:

If you like Django, check out the Rosenberg Trio and a group called Sinti.
They are the new reincarnation.

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Re: Django

1/5/2001 3:12 PM

Antonio Rosa (6847) wrote:

Yes, Django and his followers (known as jazz manouche players) play the most tasteful guitar solos I ever heard (I must emphasize the fantastic phrasing). Also the rythm playing behind the solo guitar is normally fantastic. I have some records form Django or Stephane Grapelli where Django also plays.
I completely agree with the suggestion Rosenberg, but if you like the style there's a lot of guitarists (Birelli Lagrene, Fapy Lafertin, Martin Taylor, Romane, Moreno).
I must have about ten different versions of some tunes like Minor Swing from Django and other jazz manouche guitarists, and they always are able to reinvent the theme...
Antonio

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Re: Django

1/5/2001 8:41 PM

Rob Bartelt (535) wrote:

Have any of you seen the movie "Sweet and Low Down?" I think that's the title....

It's a Woody Allen movie about the guy Billed as The Second best guitarist, right behind Django, and his obsession with his playing compared to Django's.

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Re: Django

1/6/2001 10:43 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

Django's fingers were burned in a fire and much
disfigured, but what he could do with them!. I have heard some old records of his and they are good. Les Paul in his early days followed Django's
runs, etc. with a passion. They met twice and played together informally for themselves. Django
came to the U.S and toured with the Duke shortly,
but he got homesick for france. He was not received well at the time and went home. But now
he is well known and has finally received his due
respect, although it is posthumous.
Bob

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Re: Django

1/12/2001 7:52 PM

Richard Templeton (136) wrote:

I was told the tale that Django was a Romany who decided to give up his way of life to pursue his carear as a guitarist, seemingly the tradition is that if you are going to leave the camp/train/whatevr you burn your caravan before you go. For some reason he lit the fire inside the caravan but became trapped while it burned and caused the damage to his hand while escaping. Anyone know if this is true?
Richard.

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Re: Django

1/13/2001 8:23 AM

Bruce Maag (15581) wrote:

Here's a short bio about him. I think he was Bi-Polar (manic depressive). I have found that people with this disorder, even though they suffer through life, accomplish some amazining things!

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Although Django Reinhardt was famous for his mood swings and volatile temper, his unique guitar work remains beyond reproach and nearly impossible to copy. A fire cost him the use of two of his fingers on his left hand, forcing him to adapt his style to accommodate his handicap. Of course, he would turn this apparent limitation into an asset. Partner Stephane Grappelli was no doubt frustrated by Reinhardt's fiery demeanor and his nearly confrontational rhythmic support. Clearly, however, Grappelli translated this frustration into musical magic--the unlikeliness of the pairing was central to its amazing success.

Featuring a rhythm section of two acoustic guitars and a bass, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France provides urgent support for the two stars, leaving them free to produce expressive and exciting improvisations. A furious "I Got Rhythm" kicks off this set, and immediately, the listener gets a sense of the duo's contrasting styles. Grappelli swings brightly and gracefully on violin while Reinhardt plays aggressively and often frenetically. That's not to say that Grappelli wasn't capable of forceful and energetic lines, or that Reinhardt was unable to show sensitivity. In fact, the two obviously "stole" from the other's bag when playing together.

W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" begins with a relaxed, exotic statement from the guitarist, who tosses in inventive chordal passages and lightning-fast runs. The tempo picks up for Grappelli's infectious solo. Reinhardt's conspicuous rhythm work is equally as impressive as his solos, often dominating the other three musicians and controlling the pace himself. "Appel Direct" is an ominous minor riff with an oddly constructed, tense melody. The rhythm section generates phenomenal power despite the lack of a drummer or pianist. Grappelli's solo builds on the intensity established by Reinhardt while Reinhardt churns furiously behind him. "Limehouse Blues" swings easily as Grappelli glides happily along before Reinhardt enters with piercing double-stops and walls of chords. The original ballad "Billets Doux" shows their sensitive side, until Reinhardt releases what he'd seemingly been holding back.

"China Boy," recorded six months before the famous Benny Goodman Trio recording, features dramatic comping from Reinhardt. Indeed, his passionate strumming threatened to swallow Grappelli's solos at times, but the violinist always seemed to respond with inspired licks. After Grappelli's delicate intro on "Night and Day," Reinhardt, restless as always, mixes in soft arpeggios with angular phrases, dramatic bends, and a staccato flurry. The two engage in some terrific trades when attacking Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing." Grappelli's creative melodic interpretation and Reinhardt's abrasive chords highlight "Sweet Georgia Brown."

The pretty "Lambeth Walk" contrasts nicely with a hard-driving "Them There Eyes." On the latter, the two play a game of one-upmanship--both offer heated solos as the intensity builds to a blistering crescendo, Grappelli's violin soaring over Reinhardt's jagged rhythm. Reinhardt's pithy ideas reveal a vibrant sense of humor on "It Was So Beautiful." Reinhardt's ballad style often used sarcasm as a tool while Grappelli, in yet another contrast, usually treated these melodies with more respect.

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I feel that Reinhardt was one of a kind. Only two fingers, and nobody can emulate his playing with all five. Amazing!