Music is nature's language. What it is telling you is to shut up for once and listen.

 

And Django played the gypsy card well. One of my favorite clips shows him playing for a train cart full of gypsy families, just like a stereotype painting of the gypsy life. Marketing wasn’t invented today…

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
   

Django Reindhart - Three fingered gypsy

After a title like this, there is nowhere to go… the three fingered gypsy guitar player who swung the world and brought us a new form of grandiose groovy gypsy jazz.

And Django played the gypsy card well. One of my favorite clips shows him playing for a train cart full of gypsy families, just like a stereotype painting of the gypsy life. Marketing wasn’t invented today…

And yes, three fingers. And a great story to boot. In his youth, the young Reindhart couple was quite poor (surprise surprise) and his wife was making fake flowers at home to supplement the household income. These flowers were made out of paper and celluloid. A candle falling and the whole caravan caught fire.

 
 

Django was brought out by the neighbors with severe burns to his legs and two fingers in his left hand burnt beyond repair.
The doctors said that he would never walk or play the guitar again.
so they said.

A year later, walking proud, Django not only continued to play the guitar, but invented a new style of playing, a new kind of music, a new rhythm that overtook everybody in it's spell.
Maybe because of the missing fingers, the music of Django is always flowing always running forward with a hasty pace and a gypsy swagger, almost as if the motion itself is keeping it from tumbling over on the floor.

There is something drunk about his music, that I find extremely amusing. Not the violent blues drunk but a gentle tipsy cheap red wine afternoons in the front yard with the rest of the gypsies exchanging chords and melodies.

 

Usually, no one quite knew where Django Reinhardt was going to be, but I met his brother and about an hour later in walks Django with an entourage of friends.

He always traveled with a large group--carried his own admirers with him, the most sinister-looking bunch of hoodlums you've ever seen.

I walked up and offered to buy him a drink. That seemed to be the right thing to do... he was the first really brilliant solo guitarist I ever became aware of, I had records of his when I was 10 years old. It just blew my mind that anyone could play a guitar like that. Still does."
- Charlie Byrd

 

Django didn’t only reinvent the swing jazz guitar, he brought us the humorous part of jazz with a permanent feeling of tongue in cheek, of a melodic punch line followed by a belly bursting laughter of fast chords.

One of the first jazz pieces I learnt to (try and) play on the guitar was Nuage with its slow heavy rhythm and relaxed stroll in the park feel. It took me a decade and a half to be able to understand that piece and the Djangoness behind it.

 

 

Now, as we know the old adage 'tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are' is more relevant in music then in any other profession and no one can talk about Django without mentioning in the same breath Stephane Garpelli and his virtuoso violin.

If a blues guitar player needs an harmonica player (see buddy guy and junior wells) a gypsy guitar player needs a violin to cry over his lost chords and uplift his melodies over the violin bow. Stephane Grapelli was just that. The Ginger to his Fred.

some might say it was the other way around, but let's face it, everybody knows a guitar is way cooler then a violin…

Honeysuckle rose - http://youtu.be/QATIHWbN-sM
Nuage' - http://youtu.be/DY0FF4iR9Cw
Grappeli body and soul http://youtu.be/XszpwjJUdpY
Video http://youtu.be/XrVreDHWoYo