Jazz la gitane vol. 3 - \'Round About Django

SAG0063 2011-01-25

Track List

Ultrafox - 3:23
After You\'ve Gone - 2:15
Taj Mahal - 3:22
Daphné - 2:50
Gin Gin - 3:08
Stardust - 3:06
Oh, Lady Be Good - 2:43
Avenir - 2:52
Buvös Hegedu (Magic Violin) - 2:54
Mélodie Au Crépuscule - 3:01
Swing 42 - 2:44
Ritmo Allegro - 2:59
Tiger Rag - 2:55
Tcha-Tcha - 2:16
Dr. Hekyll And Mr. Jyde (Dr. Heckle And Mr. Jibe) - 2:48
Hiversum Expres - 3:01
Flying Home - 2:50
Paper Doll - 2:28
My Guy\'s Come Back - 2:54
It Had To Be \"Bird\" - 2:35
Belleville - 2:59
Viper\'s Dream - 3:04
Minor Swing - 3:00
Le Soir - 2:56


01 -QUINTETTE DU HOT-CLUB DE FRANCE: Stéphane Grappelly (Grappelli) (vln); Jean-Baptiste ‘Django’ Reinhardt (solo g); Roger Chaput, Joseph Reinhardt (g); Louis Vola (b). Paris, April 1935.
02 -DJANGO REINHARDT TRIO: Django Reinhardt (solo g); Joseph Reinhardt (g); Juan Fernandez (b). Paris, Aug. 1934.
03- MICHEL WARLOP ET SON ORCHESTRE: André Pico (tp); André Lamory (cl, as); Jean Magnien (as); Charles Schaaf (cl, ts); Georges Paquay (fl, d); Michel Warlop (vln); Pierre Zeppilli (p); Django Reinhardt (g); Louis Vola (b).
Paris, 21 Dec. 1937.
04- HOT-CLUB SWING STARS: Pierre Allier, Philippe Brun, Maurice Moufflard (tp); Danny Polo (cl, as); Max Blanc (as); Noël Chiboust (ts); Alix Combelle (ts, dir); Louis Richardet (p); Roger Chaput (g); Louis Vola (b); Pierre Fouad.
Paris, 14 Dec. 1938.
05- TRIO FERRET: Joseph-Pierre ‘Baro’ Ferret (solo g); Pierre-Jean ‘Matelo’ Ferret, René ‘Challain’ Ferret (g); Maurice ‘Momo’ Speilleux (b). Paris, 2 March 1939.
06 - SVENSKA HOTKVINTETTEN: Emil Iwring (vln, dir); Sven Stiberg (solo g); Folke Eriksberg, Kalle Löhr (g); Pelle Liljefors (b). Stockholm, Oct. 1939.
07- STRING SWING: Arild Iversen (vln); Robert Normann (solo g, dir); Finn Westbye (g); Fred Lange-Nielsen (b).
Oslo, 25 Feb. 1941.
08- TONY MURENA ET SON ENSEMBLE SWING: Tony Murena (acc); Etienne ‘Sarane’ Ferret (solo g); Pierre ‘Baro’ Ferret (g); Jacques Petitsigne (b). Paris, 3 Dec. 1941.
09 - RADICS GABOR JAZZ-EGVUTTESE: Gabor Radics (vln); Paul Herrer (acc); Sandor Horvath (g); Aladar Pege Sr. (b); Arpad Weisz (d). Budapest, late 1942.
10 -DJANGO’S MUSIC (DJANGO REINHARDT ET SON ORCHESTRE): Max Blanc, Robert Merchez (cl, as); Charles Hary, André Lluis (cl, ts); Raymond Goutard, Paulette Izoird, Sylvio Schmidt, Michel Warlop (vln); Django Reinhardt (solo g); Eugène Vées (g); Jean Storne (b); Pierre Fouad (d); Nelly Kay (voc). Paris, 7 May 1943.
11 - GUS VISEUR ET SON ORCHESTRE: André Lluis (cl); Gus Viseur (acc); Joseph Reinhardt (solo g); Joseph Sollero (g); Maurice Speilleux (b). Paris, 20 May 1942.
12 - QUINTETTO RITMICO DI MILANO diretto da LUCIANO ZUCCHERI: Gianmario Guarino (vln); Luciano Zuccheri (solo g); Armando Camera, Carlo Alberto Carutti (g); Ubaldo Beduschi (b); Giuseppe ‘Pinun’ Ruggeri (d).
Milan, 22 Nov. 1942.
13 - LOUIS VOLA DEL QUINTETO DEL HOT-CLUB DE FRANCIA: Hernán Oliva (vln); Milton Musco, A. Rivera, Henri Salvador or Iglesias (g); Louis ‘Loulou’ Vola (b). Buenos Aires, c. July 1945.
14 - ANDRE EKYAN ET SON SWINGTETTE: André Ekyan (Echkyan) (cl); Jean ‘Matelo’ Ferret (solo g); Gaston Durand (g); Jean Storne (b); Maurice Chaillou or Pierre Fouad (d). Paris, 22 July 1942.
15 - FRANS WOUTERS EN ZYN DANSORKEST: Theo van Brinkom (vln); John de Mol Sr. (acc); Giles Pirotte (p); Eddy Christiani (solo g); Herman Vis (g); Frans Wouters (b); Antoine ‘Muis’ Martron (d). Hilversum, late Sep. 1941.
16 - HET RAMBLERS DANSORKEST: Ferry Barendse, Jack Bulterman, George van Helvoirt (tp); Marcel Thielemans (tb); Wim Poppink (cl, as, bar); Fred van Ingen (cl, as); André Vanderouderaa (cl, ts); Fritz Reinders (ts); Theo Uden Masman (p, dir); Jan Mol (g); Jack Pet (b); Kees Kranenburg (d). Brussels, 17 Jan. 1944.
17 - JERRY THOMAS SWINGTET: Antoine Franchi (vln); Paul Brenner (p); Marcel Bianchi (solo (g); Maurice Rosenberg (g); André Mégevand (b); Jerry Thomas (d). Basel, c. March 1945.
18 - SARANE FERRET ET SON ORCHESTRE: Roger Godet (vln); Etienne ‘Sarane’ Ferret (solo g); Jean Maille (g); Roger ‘Toto’ Grasset (b); Georges Marion (d). Paris, c. March 1947.
19 - SEXTETTE “SWING” RAY VENTURA: Gérard Lévêque (Levecque) (cl); Max Geldray (van Gelder) (hca); Raymond Bernard (p); Henri Salvador (g); Bob Kay (b); Robert Solat (d). Broadcast, unknown location, late 1946.
20 - TOOTS THIELEMANS QUARTET (DU HOT-CLUB DE BELGIQUE): Francis Coppieters (p); Jean-Baptiste ‘Toots’ Thielemans (g); Jean Warland (b); John Ward (d). Paris, 13 May 1949.
21 - STEPHANE GRAPPELLY-HENRI CROLLA QUARTET: Stéphane Grappelli (vln); Henri Crolla (g); Emmanuel Soudieux (b); Baptiste ‘Mac Kac’ Reilles (Reyes) (d). Paris, 30 Dec. 1954.
22 - JEAN BONAL QUINTET: Maurice Meunier (cl); Christian Chevallier (p); Jean Bonal (g); Alix Bret (b); Edmond Tobert-Migueres (d).Paris, c. Oct. 1954.
23 - JEAN-PIERRE SASSON QUINTET: Guy Lafitte (pseud. Guy Denys) (ts); Martial Solal (pseud. Martin Royal) (p); Jean-Pierre Sasson (g); Guy Pedersen (b); Baptiste ‘Mac Kac’ Reilles (Reyes) (d). Paris, 7 Dec. 1954.
24 - DJANGO REINHARDT QUINTET: ‘Fats’ Sadi Lallemand (vib); Martial Solal (p); Django Reinhardt (g); Pierre Michelot (b); Pierre Lemarchand (d). Paris, 8 April 1953.

The debutant Thirties saw two whiskery young gipsies sliding their sandals through the dust along the Toulon waterfront,playing their guitars for those sitting outside the cafés popular in the naval city. Émile Savitry was a nomad of the high seas and distant isles, a kind of Gauguin or Conrad-hero character for whom the immensity of the oceans
was nothing more than an adventure-playground; he put them on the royal road to jazz.When they returned to Paris in 1934, Jean-Baptiste and Joseph Reinhardt,otherwise known as the brothers Django and Nin-Nin, (for that is who they were),were taken on by various employers; the musical calibre of the elder was such that he was summoned to accompany the stars of the day, Germaine Sablon and her brother Jean, under the iron rule of violinist & arranger Michel Warlop, who sometimes gave the dashing 24 year-old gipsy a lot of freedom. In the course of the summer of ’34,Django, together with Joseph and a Caribbean bassist, Juan Fernandez, who played in Parisian night-club bands in the “typique” style (Lecuona Cuban Boys, Rico’s Creole Band), went into one of the studios on the Boulevards that was open to all, and where anybody could record anything, bad or good… And that was how Tiger Rag, After You’ve Gone and
Confessin’ materialised. By a great stroke of luck, Charles Delaunay found these pieces in his collection one day; they were precious (the content was substantial) but vulnerable (their container was fragile), and fortunately they didn’t remain a secret. Already, at the dawn of a fabulous flight that was also something of a miraculous escape, it was easy (as easy as Theseus lifting a rock?) to see the stuntman’s juvenile torrents…

So this third volume of “Jazz à la gitane” begins with the initial recorded testimony of the incomparable artistry of Django Reinhardt just after his departure for a modern-day fairytale, and it will end on a piece from his last-ever recording-session,
accomplished in the twilight of a life that was all-too-short but nevertheless oh-so-full. Stéphane Grappelly’s meeting with Django Reinhardt was one of the juggling miracles that have packed jazz history. The Quintette du Hot-Club de France was born out of a love affair between strings totally partisan to the “swing” coming from across the Atlantic. And yet… roots were never far away; if you called strings to play, their immediate response was a “Gipsy win-win”. Ultrafox, a nod in
the direction of the Ultraphone label that was recording the H.C.F. Quintette then, was the very first Django Reinhardt composition (with or without the assistance of S. Grappelly) immortalised on record. Of which more later… Although Django
played with his own bands,he gave friends a hand without a second thought; he helped Michel Warlop by joining his curiously-instrumented band to record the turbulent violinist’s shimmering composition Taj Mahal, which was symbolic of the deep and mysterious India whence the Roms came in another age, crossing space and time to arrive in Europe over the centuries, first in the Orient, and then to the west and north. The Roms founded a line that swarmed as vagabonds and minstrels in a world without borders. Latcho drom…

“Jazz à la gitane” N°1 revolved around Django Reinhardt’s roots, the music of the East (the Hungarian Tziganes) and the Deep South (the Gipsies), from the Danube to the Guadalquivir.

Volume 2 gave the lion’s share to string multi-instrumentalists, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, violin. More than in the former two,
This third volume pays tribute to Django as composer, the prolific author of well over a hundred pieces, some of
them well-known and often-performed, others more secret and less-often mentioned, sometimes updated by new jazzmen recently won over to the Reinhardt universe. Without Django, these 3melodies take on an obviously different dimension,
along the lines of the American standards that the entire jazz universe shapes at will.On Daphné,dedicated to a Londoner in the rag-trade (like a Du Maurier “Rebecca”?), we can hear Alix Combelle’s Hot-Club Swing Stars, an “eleventet”
whose members were mostly from Raymond Ventura’s Collégiens. Danny Polo, a clarinettist from Illinois and an European by adoption, jammed with Reinhardt and the young Matelo Ferret before the war but never had occasion to record with them; this is probably your only chance to hear how he was expressing himself before his return to America, and it’s a Django tune. Django always had strong ties with accordionists when he was younger; he deployed all his drive and invention playing the tough music that wore its Musette origins like a sash. Those who played the “piano with braces” in and around the outskirts of Paris always considered the “Manouche” (the French Gipsy,with a capital “G”) as one of their own cronies; they were even determined to play and record his compositions in tribute to him,and they accordingly doffed their hats, headscarves, badas or gapettes. Gin Gin, one of the waltzes Django neglected to record, is proposed
here by The Three Gipsy Musketeers, the Ferret trio: Baro, the elder (soloist), “little” Matelo and their cousin Challain; the fourth swordsman is bassist Maurice Speilleux. In 1939,a year of danger, the four constituted the rhythm section belonging to the “boss”, Gus Viseur, who was one hell of an accordionist! The Ferret brothers were to be the
principal protagonists of the “gipsy waltz”.

Several pieces that we owe to Django Reinhardt’s creative powers were held in such esteem, and not only by people within the close circle of “jazzers”, that they became “popular” melodies (in a manner of speaking); without warning,
they left the ghetto where the works of jazzmen were confined, quite an achievement considering the period,which had a penchant for putting different sorts of music into narrow compartments. Everyone had to stay at home and play his own flats! The pieces in question were transformed into songs with lyrics by Jacques Larue, Laurence Riesner or Francis Blanche, conquering vocalists compared with whom Ella Logan and Leo Watson were total unknowns, and an
audience who knew Ray Ventura and Fred Adison better than Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton. On the lips of Irène de Trébert, the ardent Swing 39 was pronounced Je t’aime; it was difficult to go one better! Douce Ambiance was
given lyrics, Swing Rêverie ensued from Swing 42, and Jean-Pierre Guiran, the vocalist with Dutch band Polytour, did still another version more recently. But in essence, it was Nuages, already a hit with Django’s admirers,which turned out to be
the most-illuminated manuscript. First in French, then in English, there were many sung versions as diverse as those by Jeanne Manet (cf. volume 2) and Helen Merrill, Yves Montand and Manhattan Transfer, Lucienne Delyle and Susie Arioli. In this volume 3 Mélodie au crépuscule is featured, sung by Nelly Kay; Django’s Music, a variable-geometry formation where Django’s arrangements take on their full dimension, integrates a string section, actually violinists from Michel Warlop’s highlyreputed string septet. Gus Viseur’s little band, enhanced by the presence of Joseph Reinhardt
(one of the Belgian accordionist’s frequent partners), delivers a purely instrumental Swing 42 into which Gustave,Nin-Nin and their pals chuck reveries as if they were a single man.

The last part of this volume is devoted to a tribute to Django by his friends and admirers, those who played and jammed with him, those he influis enced and those who attempted to break his hold over them. The little swing formation isolated from Ray Ventura’s big band, recorded during a radio show, included the brilliant Dutch harmonica-player Max Geldray,who put a jam on the boil with Django when they inaugurated their HQ on the Rue Chaptal in ’39 in the presence of Duke Ellington and his musicians. Clarinettist Gérard Levecque was the guitarist’s assistant, and he collected Django’s ideas and put them down on paper (which is how Messe gitane was born). As for Henri Salvador, even if he was inspired particularly by Black American guitarists such as Teddy Bunn or Albert Casey, (you can sense it during his solo here) his devotion to the Manouche was enormous. My Guy’s Come Back belongs to the post-Liberation vogue enjoyed by many American tunes that landed in France along with GIs and V. discs, such as Five Minutes More, Sentimental Journey, Cow Cow Boogie, Hey-Ba- Ba-Re-Bop, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Pennsylvania 6500 et al…
Yesterday an apprentice accordion-player, today a triumphant harmonica-player, Toots Thielemans also spent years in view as a guitarist. Subjugated by Django Reinhardt at his debuts, he joined the causes of electricity and bebop (like René Thomas), and Parker, Gillespie, Gordon, Powell and consorts became his new idols. In May 1949 he was invited to the Paris Jazz Festival, an event where people applauded Sidney Bechet and Charlie Parker,‘Hot Lips’Page and Miles Davis. Pacific recorded the representatives from the Hot- Club of Belgium,Pierre Robert’s Bob Shots (another guitarist), and the quartet led by Thielemans, with which bassist Jean Warland, a future member of the Clarke-Boland big band,was growing stronger by the day. Did Toots have second sight? Incredible though it may seem, it was nonetheless true that in 1949 Toots, a little precociously, was already playing like Django would in 1953. Good for Toots!
At the end of 1954, a year and a half after Django’s death, the Ducretet-Thomson company organised some record-sessions in memory of the late genius. Present were those close to him, either in spirit or in thought, and his compositions were dutifully honoured. His companion Stéphane Grappelly, and Henri Crolla, who successfully polished a personal style based on Django’s guitar, nonchalantly stroll through Belleville at a typically Parisian gait (otherwise normal for two Italians). To all intents and purposes, the 78rpm record by the Quintette du Hot-Club de France which became its most famous, its biggest hit, the one arousing the most enthusiasm and also a tune that would last for decades, was: Minor Swing / Viper’s Dream (Swing 23 – November 25th 1937). These two pieces, which reach perfection, did more for the prestige of the string quintet than any other hit before or since. They were two absolute masterpieces among many other jewels from these masters of jazz. These unavoidable pearls from the Django-Steph’ treasures have been showcased by two first-rate French guitarists, one of them as much attracted by Django as by Charlie Christian, the other with as much interest in Christian as he has in T-Bone Walker. Jean Bonal performs Viper’s Dream with friends who were regulars at the “Rose Rouge”, notably Maurice Meunier, an extraordinary clarinettist with a fertile, inexhaustible imagination. Jean-Pierre Sasson gathered a kind of French “mini all-star” band for the recording of Minor Swing, with Guy Lafitte, Martial Solal, Guy Pedersen and gipsy drummer (and sometime guitarist) ‘Mac Kac’ Reilles. For contractual reasons, Lafitte (who was signed to Pathé-Marconi/EMI) took part in the session under the Guy Denys pseudonym, and Solal (then with Vogue) used the alias Martin Royal; Solal had been through this before, and his weird pseudonyms formed a long list (Lalos Bing, Jo Jaguar,Marc Alsop…) Towards the end of his days, Django Reinhardt recorded Louis Gasté’s Le Soir (an appropriate title). ‘Loulou’ Gasté was Ray Ventura’s guitarist, and Line Renaud’s husband, a jazzman in his soul and also a song composer.He never hid any of the pride he felt in accompanying Django and he recorded some memorable sides with him (St. Louis Blues). At 43, Django The Magnificent died in Fontainebleau, a royal city, on Saturday May 15th 1953. 37 days previously, Django Reinhardt had gifted Decca with what would be his ultimate session. It has been repeatedly said that this final Manouche session was also the first by another French – and European – jazz giant, the North- African born pianist Martial Cohen-Solal; that it was a kind of relay where the baton passed from one ace to another.Actually, this wasn’t true at all, and the mistake is still being made after all these years, with even the best falling into the trap. In fact, Martial Solal was the regular pianist with Aimé Barelli’s big band, where he’d replaced Pierre Foucault, and the trumpeter had so much respect for him that he willingly gave him a free rein either onstage or in the studios. At that session on October 31st 1952, during which Si toi aussi tu m’abandonnes (CPT 9243) was recorded with Loango (CPT 9244), both of which appeared on Pathé PG660, they also recorded two Martial Solal arrangements: Le Soir (CPT 9245) and his own composition Farniente (CPT 9246); they were released on Pathé PG676 early in 1953.Now isn’t that a coincidence… the first piece recorded on April 8th 1953 by D. Reinhardt, M. Solal and their entourage was Gasté’s Le Soir, arranged by Solal! Listeners will make what they like of that curiosity… Saint-Exupéry used to say that it wasn’t easy to predict the future; all the future could do was permit.

1933-1953 was a scant twenty-year period that permitted Django Reinhardt to achieve an exceptional career leading him to the summit.Rare were the jazzmen in Europe who could boast of such unanimous admiration as that enjoyed by Django, to which one can add his preponderant influence on many guitarists over several generations. Such a phenomenon concerns only the great creators, those whose passage puts everything in upheaval; they benefit from an aura that is never contradicted and, on the contrary, it is amplified with passing time. Birthdays and commemorations are celebrated with passion. Tears: “Those who sow with tears will harvest in joy” (a psalm). As pianist Roger Muraro said of Olivier Messiaen: “Death was conquered by his music.” Django didn’t leave us, he’s still here. In a beautiful Jacques Brel song superbly performed by Juliette Gréco you can hear: “I’m coming, of course, I’m coming, what else did I ever do besides come?"" Django is indeed here; he never did anything else except come. In 2005 he is being constantly emulated throughout the world, and the beauty of his music has been perpetuated despite the scandalous absence of his name honouring a street, a square or an artery in Paris. Django is coming even where people least expect him; with Django, our master and friend, we should be ready for anything. Especially a surprise. Nobody’s about to claim “Django’s sleeping”; no,Django is awake for eternity.

Pierre Lafargue
(April 2005)