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  • Gypsy Jazz

    Posted by Michael Hiteshew on March 2nd, 2016 (All posts by )

    Time for a break with ‘Gypsy Jazz’ creator Django Reinhardt and sometimes collaborator Stephane Grappelli.

    (Minor Swing)

    (Dark Eyes)

    (Minor Swing cover in Spain)

    (Dark Eyes)

    The more orchestrated and complex versions are interesting and really show what good musicians can do with a basic tune. That said, there’s a purity to the originals I really like. I can almost see them sitting around a fire in a gypsy camp or some tiny club in Europe in the 1930’s smoking cigarettes, knocking back some drinks and playing tunes like this till all hours.

     

    18 Responses to “Gypsy Jazz”

    1. Grurray Says:

      Django was the real king.

    2. dearieme Says:

      Indeed he was. I went to to several Grappelli concerts decades ago: the old bugger was still a wonderful musician.

    3. dearieme Says:

      You might enjoy the accompanying film in this one.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZBPcXTXPEA

    4. Will Says:

      Thanks, we caught some good covers in Paris and Amsterdam during the reprise some years ago (I guess closely following that Johnny Depp movie) and we enjoyed it. Enough so that we bought a three or four CD collection. The wife likes to have it on when she whips up a paella.

    5. Grurray Says:

      Another somewhat related movie was Sweet and Lowdown. Woody Allen’s sort of homage to the spirit of Django.

    6. PenGun Says:

      Ain’t that some fine music? I love this stuff.

      It was Zappa turned me onto jazz and both my son and I have large collections.

      Another take on Sweet Georgia Brown:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcMmVGrzpy8

    7. Will Says:

      Anita O’ Day…man, they sure dressed right in them days.

      Too bad I was in diapers and couldn’t enjoy it. Mebbe they’ll get back to it before I’m once again in nappies. But I digress. Zappa was the key for me as well. Go to a rock concert, get the Brecker Brothers and “Stolen Moments”.

    8. Gringo Says:

      I also attended a Stefan Grapelli concert several decades ago. He also played piano in the concert.

    9. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I really enjoyed that Anita O’Day piece.

    10. PenGun Says:

      The entire film by Bert Stern is at:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TINY8p6B9_0

      I have had a copy for a long time. I love it for the jazz, but also the lovely film which is a unusual way to do a jazz festival. This was from when America was great, and never had to say so.

    11. emdfl Says:

      Yeah, Django; who showed the music world that the violin and the concertina could be perfectly fine as jazz instruments. And played his guitar while missing three fingers on one hand.
      Got lucky years back and found most his music on CDs. Then my sister, one of the musicians in the family, visited and when she left they went missing.

    12. Grurray Says:

      I’ve been listening to a lot of Chet Baker lately

      https://youtu.be/GfoFdVTMEsg

      I used to love the big band sound, but now the cool jazz era ballads are more appealing. Must be my advancing age or stiff back or something.

    13. emdfl Says:

      Damn meant to say played with three fingers, arrgghh

      Wife and I got lucky once while stopping in NO; we were walking down the street in the afternoon waiting for the clubs to open. We stopped to see if we could get a coke in the only place with an open door. Old black dude by himself in the place fiddlin’ on the piano. So we started talking while he played around. ‘Bout half way through the conversation I figured out that we were getting a private concert by Fats Domino. Oh my yes… good time.

    14. PenGun Says:

      Chet Baker was a wonderful damaged man. My most valuable record, worth perhaps 3 or 4 hundred bucks, is by him. Among my favorites, from near the end, is the wonderful Silence album by Charlie Hayden, featuring Enrico Pieranunzi on piano, Billy Higgins on drums, and of course Chet on trumpet.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXZR4zxMDeA

    15. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I recall reading somewhere that Chet Baker was self medicating from early on, he was a already a heroin addict by the early 50’s.

      Here’s a nice piece, Tal Gamlieli Live at the Lily Pad: https://youtu.be/bl4miufiBYo

    16. Will Says:

      Ah, opiates.

      My romance with hard bop faded with the disavowal of the “Buk” lifestyle and the winds of political change. An associate lived upstairs from Sonny Rollins. “Ever see him?” “never during the day”.

    17. PenGun Says:

      That’s pretty nice. I’m not familiar with Tal and Avishai, thanks.

      Another trio: Trilok Gurtu’s this time. Master percussionist. With Terje Rypdal and Miroslav Vitous:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd2AvtdFCvQ

    18. Grurray Says:

      Yes, I think in general, jazz musician was a career that came with a comparatively poor health outlook and low life expectancy.