All the Django!

Yes him the Belgian Gypsy Jazzman.

Many years ago I bought a Django Rheinhart CD in a bargain bin of my local Woolworths, just to see what the fuss was all about.

I instantly fell in love with his beautiful tone, phrasing and dynamics, which are both?joyous and sensual. Here is a guy who plays lots of notes sometimes but they all have a point. If you’ve not heard his playing then I suggest you buy a compilation CD now. His influence transcends both Rock and Jazz. The fact he could play like that with only two fingers after being badly burned in a caravan fire makes a mockery of todays whingeing spoonfed players with their £100 guitars that play perfectly and endless teaching tablature books & DVD’s showing them how.

So being the hypocrite I am I recently I bought this fantastic book:

Django Reinhardt - Know the man, play the music

It comes with a free CD and full tablature of many of his Classic peices. I’ve managed to play a few cod lines learned off records but I intend to sit down with this book next time I get a big chunk of free time.

After I’ve learned to play the book’s contents I am going to buy one of these. Isn’t she beautiful?

Essentially she’s a reasonably accurate copy of a Selmer Macaferri D-500 with the widemouth soundhole, a quick glance at the Ivor Mairants website reveals some pretty impressive specs. Solid Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, 24 fret board, bone nut with zero fret etc etc.

The brandname is Gitane…..superb. This is a guitar you could go on a journey with. Drink lots of wine, make love to women on either side of your social spectrum and hang out in seedy late night cafes capturing the spirit of Bohemia.

I did get to play a Gitane at last years Music Live, which was a weird experience as I was led into a quiet room by the campest sales assistant ever. I also shared the quiet area with a young girl and her crying baby.

I just played a few bits I know, just all those cliche “wine bar” licks and while the neck is so clubby that one feels like you are playing the hull of a boat, the tone is superb. So good that the brat stopped screaming and just stood there mesmerised by the rich full bodied warmth of the guitar. I hope I changed his life for the better and that he won’t grow up mugging old ladies sniffing glue, and getting high on turkey twizzlers. Instead I hope he buy’s a cravat and a bottle of port and freaksout his pramface offspring contemporaries.

With Vintage original Selmers going for silly money and various reproductions going for not much less. These are a veritable bargain at around £500.00


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