Saturday, 17 January 2009

One song in the style of another - 4

Slightly more surprising, this one, in the sense that it qualifies at all - I knew it as a Gypsy Swing standard long before I had heard the original.

This tune started life as a Russian song in 3/4 time, before being carried off on the back of a vardo to become a Manouche standard in 4/4 in the scarred and twisted hands of Django Reinhardt.

This version features five of the six finest Gypsy swing players alive today (Jimmy Rosenberg was, iirc, in a Dutch prison at the time) - Bireli Lagrene, Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt and Dorado Schmitt, starting off with Django's solo in unison before each doing their own thing. Bireli's comping at the end of Stochelo's solo around 5'45" paticularly sends a thrill down my spine every time I hear it:

This version is from Tony Gatlif's Swing, in which a bunch of non-Sinti musicians (as seen in the 'Song of Peace' clip) all join in for a joyous jam session at a Sinti campsite. It's how life isn't, but should be:


scarlet-blue said...

Very jolly, Mr Gyppo...

scarlet-blue said...

Ha!!! I've found something to rival you and Gadj!!!!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Excellent, Gyppo, I hadn't realised that the Django style was still so much alive (though there's another fine example of it in Gatliff's film Latcho Drom, as I now recall). Dark Eyes is indeed one of those Red Army classics!

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarls - for some reason, your blog keeps crashing my browser. I shall attempt to view it later on a different computer.

Gadjo - it's alive and kicking! There is even a jazz manouche scene in the UK (well, there was always Diz Disley even in the 70s...) For some other living greats, try Jimmy Rosenberg:

Or Joscho Stephan:

as well as the guys in the clip I posted...