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D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music

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GUEST,Bluesman James 27 Dec 10 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 27 Dec 10 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,bankley 27 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Grishka 27 Dec 10 - 11:23 AM
Will Fly 27 Dec 10 - 12:07 PM
GutBucketeer 27 Dec 10 - 01:15 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Dec 10 - 02:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 10 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie 27 Dec 10 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 27 Dec 10 - 05:25 PM
Dorothy Parshall 27 Dec 10 - 05:53 PM
Jack Campin 27 Dec 10 - 08:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Dec 10 - 08:59 PM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Dec 10 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 27 Dec 10 - 10:20 PM
Manitas_at_home 28 Dec 10 - 03:35 AM
Will Fly 28 Dec 10 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM
Will Fly 28 Dec 10 - 04:34 AM
Manitas_at_home 28 Dec 10 - 04:49 AM
breezy 28 Dec 10 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,erbert 28 Dec 10 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Callingbird 28 Dec 10 - 05:40 AM
C-flat 28 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM
Jack Campin 28 Dec 10 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Dec 10 - 07:13 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 28 Dec 10 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,erbert 28 Dec 10 - 11:59 AM
C-flat 28 Dec 10 - 12:08 PM
fat B****rd 28 Dec 10 - 12:12 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 10 - 12:30 PM
Leadfingers 28 Dec 10 - 12:40 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Dec 10 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Dec 10 - 01:55 PM
Jack Blandiver 28 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Dec 10 - 02:54 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 10 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 10 - 05:58 PM
Jack Campin 28 Dec 10 - 07:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 10 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 Dec 10 - 09:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Dec 10 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 29 Dec 10 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 Dec 10 - 04:05 AM
Jack Campin 29 Dec 10 - 06:49 AM
PoppaGator 29 Dec 10 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Alan whittle 29 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Jayto 29 Dec 10 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 29 Dec 10 - 09:25 PM
Jack Campin 30 Dec 10 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM
Jack Campin 30 Dec 10 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 30 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
Pulseroom 30 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM
Dorothy Parshall 30 Dec 10 - 01:13 PM
Jack Campin 30 Dec 10 - 01:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Dec 10 - 01:42 PM
TinDor 30 Dec 10 - 06:47 PM
Jack Campin 30 Dec 10 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 04 Jan 11 - 05:22 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jan 11 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 05 Jan 11 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Colin Holt 05 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Patsy 06 Jan 11 - 04:22 AM
Green Man 06 Jan 11 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 06 Jan 11 - 07:07 AM
Manitas_at_home 06 Jan 11 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Why it DOES matter 06 Jan 11 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Why it DOES matter 06 Jan 11 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,sense 17 Jan 11 - 08:27 AM
GUEST 18 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 18 Jan 11 - 07:21 PM
Trevor Thomas 19 Jan 11 - 07:03 AM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Jan 11 - 03:34 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Feb 11 - 04:05 PM
bobad 13 Feb 11 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 13 Feb 11 - 06:47 PM
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Jeri 14 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM
C-flat 14 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM
Stringsinger 15 Feb 11 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,Neil D 15 Feb 11 - 01:51 PM
pdq 15 Feb 11 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Feb 11 - 02:39 PM
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Subject: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Bluesman James
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 08:38 AM

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday. I have been kicking this around for decades. In 1971, I was a frustrated left handed guitarist from Brooklyn, spending time around the West Village through the Folklore Center (upstairs from the Waverly Theater -now long gone) to Music Inn (still there beleive it or not they must own the building)listening playing trying to learn everything that I encountered. I remember hearing about this "gypsy guy" who was missing two fingers from a caravan fire who played like the devil Devil - I thought that was Robert Johnson's turf., Hey I wasn't even 17 yet, what did I know. I was able to get a copy of "Djangology" with Stephan Grapelli and I was blown away with "Minor Swing", "Brick-top"- another thread about that song, Honeysuckle Rose, I can go on and on. At the time this music was too assertoric   for the crowd I know or too complicated to play. It didn't fit the categories. If you played Blues you played blues. If you played Bluegrass, you Plyed bluegrass. If you played, Crosby Stills, and Nash,you played CSN. The parameters were very tight. back then.
Now in 2010 there are gypsy jazz festivals and D'jango web site by the score. Woody Allen made a film about even using the term "that gypsy guy"
What is even more remarkable the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, a blues grass ensemble did "Minor Swing" as an encore. So is D:jango and Gypsy Jazz folk music now? Nugges anyone/


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 08:43 AM

I'm not sure what it is! Jazz guitar great Barney Kessell once said that he didn't consider Django to be playing jazz!
Anyway, whatever it is, it's fantastic!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM

the Roma are experts at adopting musical styles, then taking them farther, creating hybrid sounds. Django was criticized early on that he wasn't really playing jazz. I suppose because it was something new that the 'purists' hadn't heard. It was jazzy enough for Benny Goodman!
His legacy is enormous, and he's helped provide careers for many 'Gypsies and non-gypsies alike. Whether it's folk or not, well maybe the folk police will determine that...
meanwhile Mr Reinhardt kicked some serious ass...


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 11:23 AM

Was the Buddha a Hindoo? Was Jesus a Jew?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 12:07 PM

I would say that Django took some popular melodies from his era and improvised around them - i.e. played them as jazz - in a unique style that was drawn from his own musical background. His own compositions, also in a style from his background, were played in a similar way.

I wouldn't personally call (for example) "Sweet Georgia Brown" as played by Django 'folk music'. To be pedantic, I think it's typical of the jazz from the 30s through to the late 40s, played in a way which was all his own and unique at the time. That way has now been assimilated into gypsy culture and the Django style has, in a sense, come full circle.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 01:15 PM

Why does it matter?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 02:51 PM

Come on, Gutbucketeer. Wars have been fought over less important questions.
Minor Swing is a popular tune with the Bluegrassers I sometimes jam with, and it certainly lends itself to banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. Is it a fit topic for discussion on the Mudcat? I sure think it is!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 04:12 PM

Why does the question arise?
Excellent improvisor, inventive, both as group player and in incorporated solo work, master of the instrument; certainly not what is meant by folk.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 04:30 PM

As a recent convert to gypsy jazz music, (I've just bought a cheap Macceferri to noodle around on) I'd say he was and it is folk music of a kind. In it's broadest sense of course. Why does the question arise at all indeed? he played what he played and was damned good at it. Why does the folk world have to be so pedantic?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 05:25 PM

I suppose the dufference is Bruce that you've joined up Bruce.

If you pick up a guitar, open your ears, use the sensibility that God gave you - it screams folk music at you.

The way he played scales to rhythms - strange rhythms gotten from flamenco or maybe Basque music rather than allowing every notes its full value. Its independence from notation. The way he rewrote the technique books to bypass and even use his disability. this wasn't learned from textbooks, or just made up on the spot - it came from a living gypsy tradition.

Of course some dopey self important committee won't recognise folk music. Of course he didn't play Morris tunes - though he was undoubtedly closer to Moorish traditions than anything in England, of course English journalists and BBC braindead dj's wouldn't recognise it as folk music.

But yes, Django was a real folk. he belongs on our side of the barricades - not sure about the 1954 committee for excluding folk musicians from folk music.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 05:53 PM

If folk music is the music of the folk and Django was a folk...

For those who love Djangojazz, google Troy Chapman. He is highly regarded as a guitarist in the NW (USA) and his group, Billet Deux, plays Djangojazz. He also plays with Pearl Django.   

He is my number 1 son so you can tell me what you think, or tell him! Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 08:40 PM

The distinction does matter, because there is such a thing as gypsy folk music, and it isn't the sort of professionalized music Django was playing for non-Gypsy audiences. Gypsy folk music is heterogeneous and for the most part unrecorded and unknown to the non-Gypsy world. It also tends not to go in for the sort of soloistic flash that the gorgios want Gypsy performers to put on for them.

The Hungarian CD set "Gypsies of Csenyete" is one of the few recordings of it you can buy, from anywhere; and the Hungarian group "Kalyi Jag" has tried turning it into public performance music, but outside Hungary I can't think of anything comparable. Dragging out horse cliches about Django simply helps bury this music even deeper in obscurity.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 08:59 PM

Although born into a gypsy family, and, at first trained largely by professionally performing gypsy musicians, Reinhardt was quick to explore and use several traditions in his music. His associates became the jazz musicians of France and America, and the classically trained violinist Stephane Grappelli, with whom he founded the Quintette du Hot Club, originally including one of Django's brothers.
His recordings of American Jazz standards in European form with the group, and his own inventive compositions, brought him a wide audience.

He can be called a folk musician only to the extent that he sometimes incorporated melodies of folk type, much as Bach (in his secular cantatas) and other musicians have done throughout time. He experimented with symphonic arrangements, most notably in "Manoir de Mes Rives."


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 09:05 PM

Django, not D'Jango. No apostrophe. Not French.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 10:20 PM

Jack you write as though gypsy music were just one homogenous mass. the gypsy influence of which I speak is the most famous - namely flamenco - where guitarists learn to play notes in different rhythms - be they playing a soleares or whatever.

this mixture fluidity and lyricism of solo is very observable - particularly in the stuff Django did on acoustic guitar. So very different in feeling from a jazz player like joe Pass or Tal Farlow - even playing the same Gershwin tunes.

i feel like I've been hearing this stuff years. josh White was no longer a blues singer when he played in New York night clubs.

Why is it so necessary to attack musicians who take the bag of tricks their culture has gifted them with and explore the global village - as no longer being of that or any tradtion.

Its like folk music is the bailliewick run by some bloody tyrant of wicked baron and what he says goes.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 03:35 AM

Wher does Basque and Moorish fit into this? Wasn't he Belgian and raised near Paris? Hardly Flamenco territory. We too often confuse culture and ethnicity, Gipsy music isn't monolithic but varies over distance reflecting the music of the 'host' community.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:08 AM

The main thing that distinguishes Django from another jazz guitarist like Joe Pass or Tal Farlow is that he brought a different melodic and harmonic aesthetic to his improvisation - an aesthetic that came from his own musical background, rather than the more conventional American one.

His work with Grappelli is pure jazz - as is the duetting of Eddie Lang with Joe Venuti (both of Italian backgrounds), or the duetting of Johnny Van Derrick with Dizley. And others. The guitar/violin combination is one of the staples of jazz.

I repeat what I said earlier: Django brought a Belgian gypsy feel to the jazz that he played - whatever that feel was - and his style of jazz then became incorporated into the more modern "manouche" music we hear today. I don't know of any other gypsy-born jazz guitarists before Django (correct me if I'm wrong), and in that sense, he was unique.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM

Surely the whole point of being a gypsy is that they got around a bit and the flamenco spirit is one that represents a profusion of different elements. You can hear Moorish elements in flamenco(why wouldn't you, the Moors were in Andalucia for hundreds of years), you can certainly hear flamenco in the Basque folk music of northern Spain.

Perhaps too much confusion of culture and ethnicity for you. I doubt if your illustrious namesake would agree.

If anybody has such doctrinaire views of folk music that they can't hear by turns the exuberance and sadness of gypsy folk music in Django's work, I feel sort of sorry for them.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:34 AM

There seems to be some confusion between the feeling that Django brought into his music and the music that he actually played. Jazz musicians - like everyone else - came from a wide variety of backgrounds and had a wide variety of influences in the jazz that they played.

Try comparing Django's solo guitar "Improvisation No. 6" with Bix Beiderbecke's solo piano pieces like "In A Mist" or "Candles". In both cases the influences of their early musical life can be heard - the gypsy influence behind Django's chord progressions and improvisations on them - and the influence of Debussy-like harmonies on Bix.

Different strokes but, if you look at the recorded repertoire of both musicians, they're both firmly in a jazz tradition. And what's so wrong about that? What does it matter? Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 04:49 AM

And do you also subscribe to the term Celtic Music, that there is a similarity in the music of the Celtic Fringe because of a Celtic spirit imparted by the genes. Or is the similarity just due to the fact that the Celtic countries are neighbouring.

I don't fail to see joy,sadness and exuburance in Reinhardt's music but I don't put it down to his ancestry but to his culture (that is apart from his particular genius). His musical influences were mostly from the people around him and not from 600 miles away. As for getting about about a bit I suspect international travel wasn't that common in the early 20th century.

BTW, doctrinaire means "Seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations". Practical considerations...It doesn't mean having a different point of view to you.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: breezy
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:09 AM

Probably not.

But

When a song appears that tells of Django's life , that could be a considered as a 'folk' song because its relating - in this instance - a true story.

The song is well researched and written by by a 'jazz/folk' artiste

Therefore if you have the opportunity take a listen to Chris Flegg's biographical 'Spirit of Django' as featured on an album he released this year.

happy new year


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:20 AM

I've not listened to Django Reinhardt since my late teens early 20s
30 odd years ago..

.. part of the process of my youthful keen enthusiastic self education to play guitar..

Django's been gone over half a century, and whatever his brilliance inspired for the good,
is now tempered by a whole lot of dull music college tutored 'world gypsy jazz'
which is frankly very bloated and very very boring..

But then a whole lot of very clever new age instrumental 'celtic folk' music is as equally crap to listen to..

I'm going to find some Django to listen to in the new year..

going back to source.. thanks for the reminder, looking forward to listening again..

maybe he's folk, maybe not..

It's not Django's fault he's cited as an important influence
by so many boring modern easy listening HI-FI CD label contemporary jazz folk fusion recording guitarists..


inoffensive background music for trendy cafes & clothes shops..


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM

This thread is an example of a very odd phenomenon which appears to be endemic to the Folk Music genre. Similar examples appear on Mudcat with monotonous regularity:

A folk fan starts a thread declaring that, besides folk, they enjoy other musical genres as well (so far, so uncontroversial).

The folk fan then 'asks' other Mudcat users if they agree that one of the other admired musical genres (genre X) is Folk Music too (I put the 'asks' within quotes because it usually transpires that the folk fan has already decided that genre X is Folk Music)?

A discussion then results in which at least one contributor accuses anyone who doesn't agree with the proposition of being "doctrinaire", purist or, that old standby, a 'Folk Policeman'.

What is really going on here? Why are some folk fans so insecure that they need (a) to have other musical genres, that they happen to like, 'sanctified' with the label 'Folk' and (b)to have their various theories confirmed by other folk fans?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Callingbird
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:40 AM

The answer to your question Bluesman is 'No'.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM

Django's been gone over half a century, and whatever his brilliance inspired for the good,
is now tempered by a whole lot of dull music college tutored 'world gypsy jazz'
which is frankly very bloated and very very boring..


I couldn't agree more.
I've actually been on courses to study gypsy jazz and quickly realised that nobody can teach you to play with the passion and attack of Django. He didn't have all that theory cluttering his thinking, just played as he felt it.
By approaching jazz in the mind-set of a flamenco player I think it's possible to get a sense of the style, the rest is sweat and tears, and if you're born gifted....
The Rosenberg Trio are well worth a listen to. A little clinical but very, very good.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:04 AM

em>Jack you write as though gypsy music were just one homogenous mass

I specifically said it wasn't. And isn't even in a single location - Gypsies are distinguished by lineage and occupational groupings which often differ in musical culture. You're writing as if all the folk music of the Gypsies can be represented by a single individual, and it doesn't get much more homogenizing than that.


the gypsy influence of which I speak is the most famous - namely flamenco - where guitarists learn to play notes in different rhythms - be they playing a soleares or whatever.

Much of the flamenco idiom is Arabic. Carried on by Gypsies (the professional musician class among them, anyway) but not originated by them - much the same process as elsewhere in western Asia with different raw material.


this mixture fluidity and lyricism of solo is very observable

That isn't characteristic of all Gypsy folk music - it tends just as much to unlyrical ritualistic stomping. But the lyrical-virtuosic style is what the gorgios want, so the pros have learned to provide it.


Why is it so necessary to attack musicians who take the bag of tricks their culture has gifted them with and explore the global village - as no longer being of that or any tradtion.

A distinction is not an attack. The point is that Django's music does fit into a tradition, but it isn't a folk one. It comes out of the music of the Gypsy professional musician class, which adapted itself to whatever music the surrounding culture already had and wanted to have played for them. Usually the Gypsies could do it better than the locals, simply because they were professional about it (and the locals might have taboos that prevented them getting very good at their own music, which occurred in both Christian and Muslim societies). Django did not play Gypsy folk music. The Gypsy professional musician class never did, anywhere; they specifically did NOT use their own culture's bag of tricks. A Gypsy violinist in Vienna would have been insane to put down his fiddle and start doing the mouth or tin-jug percussion you'd hear in an encampment of Gypsy traders and craftsmen. The Viennese wouldn't have wanted to hear it.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:13 AM

Once again C-Flat. Your a foot soldier. You've picked up the guitar and had a look what's involved. I suspect once you do that, it becomes clearer = the folk connection that is.

Django spent plenty of time in the south of France = not to far from the Spanish border and his gypsy encampments would have hosted gypsies from all over the continent. So he would have met lots of varied musicians as a child.

Strangely enough I would have categorised Bix as a folk musician too. I think if you read JP Lion's biography and sections about Bix's technique - you'd come to the conclusion there was some folk process involved.

As for the celtic thing - well yes I think theres connections. Dublin was a viking town. Have a look at Stuart Gilbert's book on Joyce's Ulysses. Gilbert explains the connections with celtic/Irish/Viking culture better than I can.

And shimrod. yes it does matter. I don't want to sanctify music with the label folk, but I'd like to blow out of the water the proposition that English people don't understand their own folk music, and that only aficianados have a stake in 'real' folk music.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 08:18 AM

"As a recent convert to gypsy jazz music, (I've just bought a cheap Macceferri to noodle around on)..." [Guest: Bruce Michael Baillie - above]

Bruce, if you've just bought a CHEAP Maccaferri you are a very lucky chap! Look after it well (and don't forget to insure it). Very few of the original Selmer/Maccaferri guitars were mad. They rarely come on the market and usually sell for many thousands of dollars, pounds or euros.

However I suspect that what you have is a modern copy of Django's guitar. These can be pretty costly too - but some of the cheaper mass-produced ones also produce a nice noise. If yours is one of those, I hope you enjoy it.

As for the question of what category Django's music belongs in - why not just label it "sui generis" and get on with learning the tunes? That's a hard enough job in itself, and arguing about genres uses up precious practic time.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 09:59 AM

About thirty years ago inthe old Music Ground Shop in Doncaster I was offered a plastic Macaferri. I thought it was horrible, so I didn't buy it. As you say there are some very nice new ones.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 11:59 AM

so apparently Django Reinhardt started exploring the ELECTRIC guitar
and posibly that's what he played on his very last recordings..

now that's very interesting to me..


Hints please, what CD's to look for for any of these final electric sessions ???..


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 12:08 PM

Here you go!

Although I don't believe this is Django anywhere near his best.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: fat B****rd
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 12:12 PM

'ello 'erbert
Try "Django Reinhardt -The Electric Years"*, available on Amazon, quite cheaply.
*Snappy title !!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 12:30 PM

Perhaps if the band performed at a folk festival such as Old Songs, but Falcon Ridge has become one of those big tent, all-encompassing "folk" festivals.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 12:40 PM

I have read 'Learned Men' who say that Jazz is American Folk Music !


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 01:23 PM

Why are some folk fans so insecure that they need (a) to have other musical genres, that they happen to like, 'sanctified' with the label 'Folk' and (b)to have their various theories confirmed by other folk fans?

Au contraire, Monsieur Shimster. I think it's more a matter of genuine bewilderment on the part of people who a) love the music regardless and b) are genuinely baffled as to what the label 'Folk' actually means. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a musical genre? Or is it (as the 1954 Definition insists it is) a philosophical formulae that might be bestowed (from on high) on any pre-existing music by way of enabling the sort psuedo-academic taxonomy (i.e hobbyist pedantry) that has typified the Folk Revival since its inception?

Like the existence of God, the existence of Folk is a matter of personal faith; these days I tend to believe in neither. That said, I do work well within certain musical traditions which many think of as being Folk (old time fiddle, Sea Shanties, Child, Broadside & Bothy Ballads, English Old Popular Song, etc.) and other music genres which many wouldn't (free improvisation, free jazz, electronica, dark metal, hip-hop, etc.) which are just as 1954 as the other stuff in terms of their being Traditional, but maybe aren't so easy to mythologise in terms of their being Folk.

Love Django by the way.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 01:55 PM

Hmmm! Let's try again.

You see I think that posts like this are not really saying, "I'm not sure if D'jango Rheinhardt was a folk musician or not: discuss". What they're really saying is, "I've already made my mind up that D'jango Rheinhardt was a folk musician because (a) I desperately want someone to agree with this 'great thought'; (b) I'm looking for an opportunity to slag off 'purists; (c) I'm deliberately trying to stir up controversy and go over that old 'what is Folk' ground for the umpty umpteenth time.

Why not just say, "I think that D'jango Rheinhardt was a folk musician" and leave it at that?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM

It's like Christians seeing God in everything and wanting to share that with others. Atheists might dig the same stuff (sunsets, stars, infinity, trees, etc.) but they don't see God in it. So if a Folky sees Folk in Django they'll want to put that to the Fellowship, which seems natural to me, especially on a forum like Mudcat. I don't think there's any bad intemntion here.

I dig Django muchly, but I don't see Folk (or God) in his music. Neither do I see it in Harry Cox, who I also dig muchly.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 02:54 PM

Well actually Bluesman James hasn't said a dickie bird for a while. So theres no guessing his original intentions.

Lets leave it if Django had come to me and said, lets start a folk group, but I don't want to change my style. And then Bix Beiderbecke did the same.

Personally I'd stretch the meaning of folk to include them. And this leads me to believe - they were a bit folky in the first place.

That'd be some version of The Wild Rover.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:20 PM

Thanks to all for this lively discussion. There were some excellent points and I am grateful there were no personal attacks (as I have witnessed on other discussion groups)
Interesting: I posted another thread about the origins of the song Hooka Tooka//Green Rocky Road where I anticipated much involvement and there were only three posts. You never can tell what excites people


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 05:58 PM

If the term "folk" has any meaning at all, I would think that the wonderful music of Django is NOT folk.

It IS loose and improvisational, as someone noted above as justication FOR the "folk" label, but is that really a valid criterion? If so, jazz of all kinds ~ including the most abstract post-modern forms that folk-purist types seem to absolutely abhor ~ would fit under the definition of "folk."

My own very ideosyncratic definition of "folk music" is "music that is familiar to the just-plain folks of a given community." To me, then, favorite pop tunes (e.g., "oldies") qualify as "folk music" of the worldwide musical culture that shares access to and interest in the internet. Whatever you can sing along with, in other words.

Sing-along-ability is NOT a characteristic of Django's brilliant instrumental work, no moreso than that of, say, John Coltrane or Philip Glass. To me, music intended for performance rather than primarily for participation is not really "folk."

Now, someone else's definition of "folk" might well encompass performance art, as long as the music being performed duplicates some old-time musical canon that once belonged to some community of villagers or fishermen, etc., who were able to sing and play that music together. To me, that kind of thing may evoke folk music, or may once have been folk music, but now it ain't; it's art music.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 07:01 PM

This is some of the gypsy folk I was talking about:

Kalyi Jag on YouTube

The "rolling" of the title is the choral ostinato accompaniment that starts around 1:00. It's found sporadically in Gypsy folk music over a very wide area, right across to Pakistan. Nothing remotely like it in any of the professionals' genres; it's an essentially participatory idiom that can only arise in a setting where there are no pure spectators. Once you get the rhythm, you grunt along with it.

They have quite a few YouTubes up. The guitar is a relatively recent addition - it didn't get into this music until after Django's death, and it isn't doing much that you couldn't do by thumping the neck of a large bottle. The culture they got the guitar from was rural Hungary and Romania, where guitars mostly had three strings removed so they could function as a sort of string drum with at most two chords. In turn, the adoption of the guitar by Hungarian and Romanian peasants only dates from Django's lifetime - he took it in the direction of Western salon music and they took it back to the Middle Ages. He could not have been further removed from this Gypsy folk tradition if he'd tried (and he probably did try).


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 09:28 PM

The 'gypsy music' most people know is professionally played music of Austria-Hungary-Bohemia. It is European-based with elements developed by the gypsy musicians that entertained in the cafes and elsewhere, but has little of gypsy music (see Jack Campin, above).

Similarly, 'flamenco' was Andalucian, with of course Moorish and Sephardic Jewish contributions from their long dominance in the Andalucian area until they were kicked out or forced to convert by Isabella and Ferdinand at the end of the 1400s. It has many variations, one in the verdiales of Murcia (perhaps the source of the castanets often used by gypsies).

Gypsies moved into Spain not long before this time; gypsy professionals developed much of what we call gypsy flamenco in the 19th century, contributing to flamenco dance, and less so to the music; accompanied with the loud emotionalism of this 'club' or cafe excess that most people mistakenly regard as genuine. But it is entertaining while the wine flows and it does 'sell'.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 09:44 PM

I think you're very judgemental, dismissive, not to say plain high handed and wrong when it comes to Gypsy Flamenco.

Whilst there are many fine professional flamenco musicians in Spain - it is a genuine folk art - practiced extensively and to a very high standard by many people just for the plain love of the music, the singing and the dance. Not to sell anything.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Dec 10 - 10:33 PM

True Spanish Flamenco is not gypsy in origin.
It is a folk art, as you say extensively practiced by Andalucians, and owes little to gypsy folk music.
There are good examples of the flamenco-verdiales of Murcia on youtube, and probably good Andalusian but I don't have time to sort through all the "gypsy" candy.
A fine group from Murcia was included as a photoblog, surprisingly on MSNBC. Scroll down to the youtube excerpt:
http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/28/5726080-spanish-villagers-perform-traditional-flamenco-music-in-their-local-festival


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 04:01 AM

It is a genuine folk art

Only if you want it to be. In reality it's just another traditional musical / dance genre along with all the others. Otherwise it's no more (or less) a folk art than Hip-Hop, Acid House, Ballroom Dancing or Northern Soul.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 04:05 AM

'Spanish Flamenco is not gypsy in origin.'


In the 1970's I used to winter in Spain after the strenuous Christmas season playing gigs in working men's clubs. Quite a few of the gypsies I knew at that point in my life would have been enraged at that suggestion.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 06:49 AM

Being enraged is not much of an argument (for a similar dose of rage, try pointing out to an Irish bigot that a lot of familiar Irish trad tunes have their origins in England). Fortunately the Arabic component of flamenco is now seen as a selling point, so there's less resistance to the historical facts than there used to be.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 12:58 PM

Yesterday's GUEST (28 Dec 10 - 05:58 PM) was me. Sorry, forgot to log in.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan whittle
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 02:14 PM

Ireland and England are very close. I have relations that have sung on both sides of the Irish Sea - not at the same time, you understand. come to think of it, I have. How would you know whether I was singing an Irish or an English song. particularly - if I'd made it up.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Jayto
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 08:39 PM

Hello my name is Jayto and I love Django. lol


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 09:25 PM

'If the term "folk" has any meaning at all ......'

You've nailed it, not only for this thread but for all of the other 'What is folk?' nonsense.

The term 'folk' has no meaning in this context and, more importantly, provides no measure of quality, integrity, popularity or sustainability.

Can we stop using this pointless term?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 07:48 AM

It would hard to find a context in which "folk" had a clearer meaning than this one.

Django's music and gypsy folk music (of any sort) are about as different as any two musical genres in Europe can be. They have entirely different performers and audiences, use different instruments, and use totally unrelated instrumental and vocal techniques.

It doesn't mean one of them is better than the other, just that nobody with ears could possibly confuse them.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM

Jack, I'm pretty sure that's nonsense! Gypsies have always "borrowed" from wherever they landed; the ones in Spain , for example, adopted the guitar; and, that, I believe, is the instrument Django also played!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 08:58 AM

Read this book:

Sarosi, Gypsy Music

Yeah, the Gypsy professional musicians borrowed instruments from the cultures around them, e.g. in Turkey they borrowed the davul and zurna, later the cumbus and clarinet. But they used those instruments for performances to non-Gypsies, and they used a repertoire derived from what those audiences knew. Which was entirely separate from what the non-pro-musician Gypsies sang (or, rarely, played) among themselves.

Listen to that Kalyi Jag clip I linked to and tell me what resemblance to Django or flamenco you hear in it. I hear absolutely none.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

Yes, but many of the gypsies of Andulucia lived, breathed, and slept flamenco. It was their number one form of artistic expression.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Pulseroom
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM

I've just typed Django in the music store in I-Tunes and lots of material is displayed and as far as I am aware it's Jazz.

I've been in folk music for over 45 years and I would agree that there is a wide variety of texture within the music but I wouldn't associate Django as folk music to be honest.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 01:13 PM

Re the flamenco: At the Turkfest in Seattle two years ago, I watched intrigued as a flamenco dancer and then a whirling dervish did their respective thing to the very same Turkish music. And then did it separateIy/together on the same stage, intermingling beautifully. I had the impression the flamenco evolved somehow in Turkey....?????


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 01:31 PM

Turkish classical music and flamenco both borrowed the system of metric modes from Arabic music, though different specific metres became popular in each. Turkish music kept the melodic modes (maqams) of Arabic music to a much greater extent, and elaborated on them - flamenco uses only a small range of those possibilities. Probably some of the rhythmic flourishes of flamenco come from North Africa or indigenous Iberian music, too.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 01:42 PM

The flamenco of the gypsies in Spain was borrowed from the flamenco music of Andalucia.

I guess the elves are tired of this thread- more nonsense about folk- but please remove the apostrophe from Django Reinhardt's name, if you are still looking at it.

Django was a nickname, he was christened Jean Baptiste.

As a child he lived with the Manouche near Paris.
He learned his music in the dance halls in Paris, for a while playing the banjo-guitar, and teamed up with an accordianist, Guerino, at age thirteen. From then on he was a fixture in the clubs in Paris.

Venuti, Ellington, Armstrong and Lang were his idols.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: TinDor
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 06:47 PM

Django himself considered his music "jazz" and not authentic folk gypsy music


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 07:14 PM

Dorothy: I would bet that the tune used for the Turko-Flamenco collaboration you saw was "Lamma bada yatathanna", supposedly composed by an emigre from Syria/Lebanon/Palestine in Spain sometime in the late 700s. It was made a modern hit by Fairouz in 1960. There are an incredible number of versions of it on the web, several of which are (apparently independently arrived-at) Arabic-Flamenco fusions. I've played in one of those myself, with both a bellydancer and a flamenco dancer on stage.

It predates the arrival of the Gypsies in Spain by a few centuries.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:22 AM

I was thinking of some of the ground we covered in this thread, and it just occurred to me - the other singer/guitarist I would have thought of as having a gypsy influence was Martin Carthy, himself.

If you don't hear a gypsy influence in Django, you probably would miss it in Martin's work. But I reckon its there. Something in the way he does a song like Geordie - some phrases. What is it the Spanish call it, cante hondo ....something like that. Anyway i can't prove it, but I think its there.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 12:56 PM

Meanwhile - the pathological/anatomical basis for Django's style:

BMJ on Django's Hand


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 10:26 AM

Interesting thread. I just recently read Michael Dregni's book "Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing" which is full of interesting info about the origins of gypsy jazz and its development to the present day. He's also written a biography of Django. I found it a really interesting read which put the music into the context of the environment and musicians who created (and still create) it- not least the involvement of gypsy musicians in the music scene of Paris at the time.

Is it "folk"? We're back to the "what is folk?" chestnut... There are plenty of cultural influences going on in the music, some more "traditional" than others. You could certainly call say it has developed as a musical tradition in itself. The instrumentation based around guitar and fiddle crosses neatly into a folk format- some of the tunes work in other styles and contexts. But then, you could say the same about lots of other styles of music without needing to classify them as folk.

I'd say it's far more jazz than it is folk- for starters the bulk of the repertoire comes from jazz and the emphasis on improvisation is essential. Of course there are, as mentioned before, plenty of people who wouldn't consider it proper jazz.... Going back to the original post- a bluegrass band doing a Django tune- why not? Does that make it bluegrass? And for that matter, does a bluegrass band playing at a folk festival make bluegrass "folk"? I wonder what jazz and bluegrass forums would have to say.

Actually I think there's an interesting parallel to be drawn between gypsy jazz and bluegrass - both styles emerged in the mid 20th century, essentially as popular music, drawing on lots of localised influences as well as jazz, (though the main influences of bluegrass are more clearly traditional). Distinctive instrumental lineup, a core "standard" repertoire, with original compositions within the genre being adopted as standards, and above all an element of improvisation.

Sure, in any case, there are elements of overlap or common interest with folk- I don't personally consider it to *be* folk music, even though I'd consider folk a pretty broad church. Does it matter? It doesn't make it any more or less enjoyable or worthy of interest.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Colin Holt
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 11:35 AM

Excuse me folks but... what a thread you weave ....!!
It is MUSIC .... and people enjoy listening to it.
So much intelectualising about what it is (and isn't), means you have much less time to make it yourselves !!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 04:22 AM

To my way of thinking it is very much folk music created by the people travelling through, even the Balkan influences are there. It seems to be getting very popular here in Bristol as a dead cert crowd puller the last venue I went to was to see the band Fuzia last November who had everyone on their feet and dancing shoulder to shoulder. It didn't start until after 9 pm and for a moment I thought the I had made a big mistake but I was wrong. The whole gig went on until 1.30 - 2.00 am and what made it even better the admission was free, yes I call that folk.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Green Man
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 05:02 AM

Ok, Ok, Its definitley music. Thousands of people including myself really enjoy it and, boy would I like to be able to play like that with five fingers.

Case closed I think.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:07 AM

Well I've always felt there was something else going on in Django's music other than mainstream jazz. I always in my ignorance put it down to a gypsy influence.

as you say - it seems a bit unproductive to keep debating it. I think maybe artists forge their creations with whatever material is available and they choose whatever they think will make the strongest amalgam.

when we try and analyse the magic, it turns us into something akin to ancient alchemists. floundering about in the darkness.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:23 AM

seems a bit daft being on a music forum and not discussing music!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Why it DOES matter
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:19 AM

Because we are using language to describe something. If the words are meaningless we don't have a language. We have marketingspeak, we have politclexicon, we have conpatter.

If you want to extol the virtues of Django Rheinhardt (and if not - why not?) you have to say what it is, why call it music when sound or noise would do?

tell 'em Django is "Hot Club de France" and if they ask again expand the definition. By including Swing Jazz and Gyspy music - and Folk is in there.

Many years ago I was bought a record of Django without Stephane playing on it and that was billed as Folk not Jazz. I even sought-out the recording of Django with the Glenn Miller Orchestra - was that Jazz? Was it a military WWII band sans the eponomous leader? Well, describing it as pure Django is a start, and not far off as descriptions go.

It matters because we are communicating. Labels is simply shorthand for communication.

Those that think it doesn't matter - let them think, but please - don't let them communicate to me, I speak English.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Why it DOES matter
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:23 AM

FWIW in 1939 (maybe earlier) Django played at the Kilburn Empire or some well respected London venue of a similar name

He was billed as "Three Fingers Lightning" - though I assume they did precede it with his proper name. Humphrey Littleton told me via the BBC. That's who. Or was it Benny Green?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,sense
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 08:27 AM

You watched this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0906665/ ??
this will explain everything !


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 12:40 PM

the Django idiom is called Jazz Manouche it is [erhaps a'Folk music' but it aint Folk music.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 07:21 PM

good! that's that cleared up!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 07:03 AM

I used to think that the answer to this was a very clear 'NO'. Jazz is jazz, and folk is folk. Fans of one type often hate the other type. They sound different.

However, since I started reading the Mudcat posts it seems that what the music sounds like isn't part of what defines it as folk. People all have their own definitions of what constitutes folk music, but the only thing that the hard liners accept is the '1954 definition'. To my mind, the particular case of Gypsy Jazz fits the 1954 definition very well.

"Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission."

Now when Django was playing, it was not 'folk music' as such, it was rather an interpretation of the pop music of the day. It certainly incorporates scales and arpeggios that Django had learned from his extended family, and in particular, the right hand technique unlike one found outside gypsy culture. But at that point it was a new development, rather than a tradition.

Now, however, it is some 70 or 80 years later, and Django's compositions and interpretations have definitely been handed down through a process of aural transmission – I say that rather than 'oral', as the music is mainly instrumental.

Long after the jazz ceased to be popular music, one Ian Cruikshank, fascinated by the music, but having no way of learning more about it, decided to go to France to see if anyone still played that way. He had the idea that since Django was a gypsy musician, it might have been handed down. He discovered that yes, it had, and the various families were still playing it and teaching it to their children in turn.

The 1954 definition goes into more detail -

The factors that shape the tradition are:
(i)        continuity which links the present with the past;
Obviously there, and

(ii)        variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group;
Variations are spontaneously composed each time a tune is played.

(iii)        and
(iv)        selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives … The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community … The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk character.

The community in question being the various gypsy families. They have certainly re-fashioned it. The chord voicings the scales, the ornamentation and the right hand technique are all particular to the gypsy way of playing. The individual composers of most of the repertoire are known, but that apparently is no bar to something becoming folk music.

There's certainly been a resurgence of interest in the last ten years, I'd say worldwide, and there are now even 'sessions' where people get together to play this type of music. Not very many, like, (there's currently eight in the UK that I know of), but even five years ago I knew of none. It uses acoustic guitars, fiddles accordions – instrumentation folk musicians are used to, rather than trumpets and saxophones, which are somewhat on the loud side for pub sessions. And it's certainly an older tradition than the 'bloke with open tuned guitar' tradition that started in London in the 60s, and which is now all pervasive.

It is counterintuitive to me to think of anything in the 'jazz' compartment as fitting into the 'folk' compartment. I (perhaps naively) tend to think of musical styles as being defined by how they sound. But going on the '1954' definition, - what has come to be known as 'gypsy jazz' might not have been definable as folk music when Django started it, but several generations later, I think it is.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 12:42 PM

What do you reckon of Django's chances of getting a radio 2 folk music award - best newcomer - seeing as how he has just satisfied the 1954 criteria?


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 03:34 PM

Listening to more of the music actually composed by Django Reinhardt, played solo and in duets, again emphasizes to me that he was a creative jazz musician, influencing the players in the 'Hot Club' and in return taking ideas from them.
Because of his gypsy origins, some would relate his music (and 'gypsy jazz') to 'folk' but it is strictly the jazz that developed in the cafes of Europe, to which Reinhardt added his own genius and invention. His later work adapted several jazz styles.

Classically trained composers of central Europe borrowed dance music from gypsy groups, the gypsy musicians and dancers in turn had adopted the music of peoples in central Europe; very little if any of this music is related to pre-European gypsy folk traditions.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 04:05 PM

I may never catch on to this blue clicky thing. But if you go here:

http://www.patrus53.com/2011/01/26/troy-chapman/

you will see and hear my son being interviewed and playing django jazz. I am told he is very, very good.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: bobad
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 04:51 PM

Very nice Dorothy.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 06:47 PM

http://www.patrus53.com/2011/01/26/troy-chapman/

there you go Dorothy -nice looking boy too!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 01:09 PM

Thank you, guys!

I'm told we look a lot alike! So much so that strangers can say - oh, your mom is over there...


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 01:49 PM

Similar facial features.
I don't know if other people can get to a video from that link, but I couln't. Here's a YouTube interview. I haven't heard the whole thing yet. There may be music!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: C-flat
Date: 14 Feb 11 - 03:24 PM

Lots of music and lots of talent on display.

Thanks!!


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Stringsinger
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 12:14 PM

The French gypsies known as the Manouche are part of the migration of Gypsies coming probably originally from Egypt (from which derives the name Gypsy).

It is a vibrant and vital folk music representing the Manouche and the young Gypsy players are carrying on a tradition that they own as a carryover of early Gypsy music.

Gypsy jazz is jazz and if Barney said what someone reputed to him, he was wrong.

Django played with many jazz musicians, notably Coleman Hawkins, who was a great fan, as well as Grapelli and others.

Jazz is a form of folk music. It has roots, tradition, is handed down generationally, it reflects specific communities as well as a wider distributed interest, it requires often an aural learning approach as opposed to written down music; it reflects a continuation of the blues (definitely folk music), it borrows from popular and theater songs as does the folk music from the Minstrel Show tradition in Southern Appalachian music, jazz changes as it goes with variety and continues today based on the music of the past.

Yes, Django was both a jazz musician and a folk musician.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 01:51 PM

Someone mentioned early in this thread that some people didn't even consider Django's music Jazz. Could this have been because of the unusual instrumental line-up of The Hot Club Quintet which featured a double bass, fiddle and three guitars. Maybe in the 1930's some people couldn't accept a Jazz ensemble that had no horns or drums.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: pdq
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 02:17 PM

Since the original version of Jazz (actually spelled Jass) was from a brass band tradition and tended toward the use of just three chords, some may find it difficult to see the connection to a player such as Joe Pass who played advanced chord structure and complicated progressions on an electric guitar. I know I do.


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Subject: RE: D'jango and Gypsy Jazz, Is it folk music
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Feb 11 - 02:39 PM

'Manouche' was the term applied to gypsies of northern France and Belgium. Not all Roma, some are Sindi, the group to which Reinhardt belonged.
Gypsies near Paris came there with the music of central and eastern Europe, but the type that provided employment in the bal musette clubs of Paris was partly waltz-based, using the accordeon, guitar, banjo, etc. A distinctive type of dance music, 'musette', developed.
Reinhardt played with these groups. Accordionists like Guerino, Gardoni (with whom Django played before his injury), Murena, guitarists Ferret, Joseph Reinhardt (Django's brother), basists Revira and others were the developers of this musical style. Following Django's recovery from burns, he joined with these groups.

'Jazz manouche', or 'gypsy jazz', developed largely from the new sounds of Django Reinhardt, a truly creative musician, whose work still influences jazz. With Grapelli and others, a new jazz variant was developed that still has followers and many listeners.

The music of Reinhardt, the musicians of his 'Hot Club', was western in instrumental styles and instruments, but added improvisations of a type that were new. The 'gypsy' element, perhaps, the moods and introspection, enters in the solo music of Reinhardt, both singly and as parts interwoven into the fabric of the 'Hot Club' music. Grapelli, not of gypsy origin, picked up on Reinhardt's 'mood music', and is present in their duets.
Reinhardt's solo compositions, such as "Manoir de mes reves" are gems of introspection.

The music of Reinhardt was not folk, but the players who have loved his stylings have gone on to add to Reinhardt's 'gypsy jazz' and so have developed the music into a folk as well as jazz idiom.


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