Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

203

Gypsy Knights: Les Grandes Figures Du Jazz Manouche/Loutcha

Suzanne Lorge By

Sign in to view read count








Various Artists
Gypsy Knights
Le Chant Du Monde
2006


Tchavolo Schmitt
Loutcha
Le Chant Du Monde
2006




Jazz manouche, or "traveler jazz, melds elements of traditional Roma (gypsy) music with early swing; this impassioned, rousing music relies mostly on the percussive playing of stringed instruments like the guitar and violin, sans drums. The uncontested master of the art form remains Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt, who joined with jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli in the 1930s to form the all-string Quintette de Hot Club de France, thus introducing jazz manouche to the world. Occasionally a jazz manouche band will use a horn player—American jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins played with Django when they toured Europe, and Django shared the bill with Duke Ellington's big band at Carnegie Hall in the 1940s. Such trans-Atlantic exchanges brought Django's musical leverage to the U.S.; American guitarists from Jimi Hendrix to Willie Nelson have cited Django's playing as a formative influence.

Paris-based record company Le Chant du Monde, which specializes in world music, offers two new releases that celebrate the legacy of Django Reinhardt: Gypsy Knights: Les Grandes Figures du Jazz Manouche and guitarist Tchavalo Schmitt's Loutcha. The first, Gypsy Knights, is a compilation of songs by the greats among Django's disciples and includes three performances by the master himself. The CD explores the full range of jazz manouche expression, from Django and Grappelli on the classic "Djangology, to the moody tango "Davïdo of guitarist Mandino Reinhardt (Django's cousin), to the contemporary swing sound of guitarist Dorado Schmitt's "Balladorado, one of only two ballads on the disc. The CD isn't limited to gypsy guitar: Florin Niculescu turns out a formidable "Lady Is A Tramp on the violin and accordionists Marcel Loeffler and David Rivière evoke a jazz-age musette on "Pont de Venise and "A Saint Ouen, respectively. Rivière also performs with the well-known manouche group Les Pommes de Ma Douche on the blues tune "Saint Pierre Blues and the spry "Fleure Bleue. Also of note: appearances by celebrated gypsy guitarists Angelo Debarre and Biréli Lagrène.

On his 2005 release, Loutcha, guitarist Tchavalo Schmitt makes a bid for the title of Django's most ardent devotee. Schmitt's originals, "Antsela and "Pour Flavio, are infectious, moving vamps across a vast musical terrain; his chromatic solos race ahead and beg the listener to follow. Violinist Costel Nitescu matches Schmitt's gait stride for stride; his virtuosity is especially keen on "Them Their Eyes and "Cheek to Cheek. After a few moments of Schmitt's picking and Nitescu's fingerings one wonders, Can human fingers really move that fast? The duo, backed by Mayo Hubert and Martin Limberger on rhythm guitar and Claudius Dupont on contrabass, recreate some of Django-Grappelli's finer moments on "Stomping At Decca ; on his third original on the disc, "Valse à Dora, the group barely seems to breathe, so breakneck is Schmitt's tempo. Faster isn't always better, but in this case the argument for it is a strong one.


Tracks and Personnel

Gypsy Knights

Tracks: Djangologie; Antsela; Entre Amis; B.L.; Choukar Gaïga; Sinti Rhapsodie; Lady Is A Tramp; Pont de Venise; Saint Pierre Blues; Swing 42; Valse à Dora; Come Into My Swing, Bireli Hi Gogoro, Davïdo; Balladorado, Romantique Voyage; Fleur Bleue; A Saint Ouen; Valse à Tchavolo; Blues Clair.

Personnel: Django Reinhardt: guitar; Tchavolo Schmitt: guitar; Angelo Debarre: guitar; Ludovic Beier: accordian; Biréli Lagrène: guitar; Mandino Reinhardt: guitar; Dorado Schmitt: guitar; Pierre Blanchard: violin; Florin Niculescu: violin; Marcel Loeffler: accordian; Dominique Rouquier: guitar; Pierre Delaveau: guitar; Laurent Delaveau: contrabasse; David Rivière: accordian; Lauren Zeller: violin; Raphaël Fays: guitar.

Loutcha

Tracks: Some Of These Days; Antsela; Pour Flavio; Them There Eyes; Le Soir; Stomping At Decca; Cheek To Cheek; Valse à Dora; Que reste-t-il de nos amours?; What A Difference A Day Makes; Ménilmontant; Chez Jacquet; Roses of Picardy; Sweet Sue, Just You.

Personnel: Tchavolo Schmitt: guitar; Costel Nitescu: violin; Mayo Hubert: rhythm guitar; Martin Limberger: rhythm guitar; Claudius Dupont: contrabass.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money Multiple Reviews Rock Candy: Montrose (eponymous) & Paper Money
by Doug Collette
Published: December 29, 2017
Read Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez Abbasi’s Invocation Multiple Reviews Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition & Rez...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 27, 2017
Read Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa Multiple Reviews Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk & Najwa
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute) and To Bonnie From Delaney Multiple Reviews The Original Delaney & Bonnie (Accept No Substitute)...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 23, 2017
Read Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile Multiple Reviews Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile
by Doug Collette
Published: December 17, 2017
Read The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio" Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "Cassette Plus Download Labels" Multiple Reviews Cassette Plus Download Labels
by John Eyles
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues" Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Duke Ellington on Storyville Records" Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient Africa" and Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie's "Live at A Space 1976"" Multiple Reviews Two Sackville Gems: Abdullah Ibraihim's "Ancient...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "David Murray Octets on Black Saint" Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017