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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Frankham How to Play Like Django (27) RE: How to Play Like Django 10 Mar 04

One thing that should be mentioned I think is that Django before
anything else was a jazz guitar player. His lines were the epitome
of good jazz, swinging, sometimes sparse, sometimes technical but all
made jazz sense.

The problem with studying the Manouche style of playing is that a
student can get away from the jazz concept and more toward an
amorphous "gypsy" style of playing that features pyrotechnics and
licks as opposed to improvisational mastery. For this reasons, I
think a good gypsy jazz player ought to be steeped in the language
of jazz, a foundation of harmony, a working knowledge of all kinds
of jazz playing and not just as Oscar Aleman put it "Gypsy tricks"
although when Django used them, they were wonderful. That's because
he was first and foremost a jazz musician to such a degree that
even though Louis Armstrong passed on him, Coleman Hawkins sought
him out and recorded with him. Django was imortalized in a elegy
by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet by a lovely little tune
called "Django". Every jazz guitarist of note coming down the proverbial "pike" has recognized Django as a jazz influence. Django, in turn recognized Eddie Lang as his inspiration. The early recordings of Venuti and Lang inevitably gave rise to the Qunitet of Hot Club of France. It's significant that Django's first instrument
was a six-string banjo. Django also loved Louis but it was regrettably not reciprocated.
Wanna' be a good Gypsy jazz player? Study jazz.


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