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Apr 16, 2018 - 6:06:07 AM
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3451 posts since 11/13/2005

I surely wish I could have been there to hear the three of you Bob! Perhaps someone caught it on video, that I may enjoy after the fact. I didn't know a disc was in the works with Tyler and Howard. I'll surely purchase when it's available. Anticipation.....

David

Apr 16, 2018 - 6:15:55 AM
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malarz

USA

234 posts since 1/5/2007

Available from greatbanjosummit.com. Tyler sold out of his supply Saturday.

Apr 16, 2018 - 8:22:02 AM

rockyjo

USA

356 posts since 10/21/2009

Could someone post a link for the Boston Banjo Bash? (I realize it’s over but would like to read about it.). Nothing comes up in numerous web searches (??).
Thanks,
Rockyjo

Apr 16, 2018 - 8:31:11 AM

malarz

USA

234 posts since 1/5/2007

No web link. I’ll post my thoughts later.

Apr 16, 2018 - 6:18:16 PM

Muskrat

USA

321 posts since 3/29/2012

Django started on violin which was his main instrument before the fire.

Jun 5, 2018 - 7:08:58 AM

usonian

USA

299 posts since 3/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by rockyjo

Could someone post a link for the Boston Banjo Bash? (I realize it’s over but would like to read about it.). Nothing comes up in numerous web searches (??).

2nding this! The existence of a 'Boston Banjo Bash' was news to me and there's seemingly absolutely zero information about it anywhere online... like, not even a one-line mention of it on a venue calendar.  Where was it held?  Is there an organization behind it?  A mailing list?  Secret Society? Very frustrating.

Jun 5, 2018 - 1:57:15 PM

malarz

USA

234 posts since 1/5/2007

I was lucky to find out about the Boston Banjo Bash from Steve Caddick who I had contacted a few days earlier about banjo repair. I hadn’t met Steve before that but he told me about the BBB and suggested that I attend.  Glad I took his advice! I also looked online for information and couldn’t find any notice so I had to ask Steve again for information. The day was my baptism into the 4-string banjo world with the “preachers” being Steve Caddick, Bob Barta and Tyler Jackson. A good way to begin!

I am sure the BBB was advertised in AllFrets magazine. As far as I could find, or not find, nowhere else. I can’t remember the name of the sponsoring group but it is a group of Boston-area banjo folks who are also involved with another event at the same hotel/conference center in September.

Before then is the convention in Buffalo, NY in July.

 

Ken

Jun 7, 2018 - 4:56:24 AM

4 posts since 6/16/2016

The New England Jazz Banjofest is in Sturbridge Ma, September 14-16

webpages.charter.net/nejbanjof...ndex.html

Jun 7, 2018 - 5:05:53 AM

malarz

USA

234 posts since 1/5/2007

thanks for the link. 

Jun 27, 2018 - 5:12:25 PM
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134 posts since 4/9/2008

I wish there were more of us trying to push the Django style. I'm hoping to get to the studio with my combo sometime this year...Violin, Guitar, Banjo and Bass. We play the Sacramento Banjo Rama, but I'd love to get some traction in the more legit Django festivals, sadly I'm not sure that someone showing up with a banjo case is what they're after. But, the music is a blast to play.

youtube.com/watch?v=tYR50f-Of6A

Here is a version of Lady Be Good we did a while back.

Jun 27, 2018 - 6:21:45 PM

malarz

USA

234 posts since 1/5/2007

Hey! That’s really good! Your banjo playing sounds perfect in the group and on that tune. Thanks for sharing.

 

Ken

Jul 5, 2018 - 7:16:48 AM
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rockyjo

USA

356 posts since 10/21/2009

Hi Bill,
Thank you for sharing your link of Django music with banjo! I have been looking for links of anyone playing that style! Please keep us posted when your recording comes out!
Rockyjo

Jul 6, 2018 - 3:36:56 PM

djangonut

England

52 posts since 4/5/2006

Slightly off topic, but there is a fantastic movie by Woody Allen called "Sweet and Lowdown". It features Sean Penn as a gypsy jazz guitarist. The music itself is played by Howard Alden, backed by Bucky Pizzarelli on Freddie Green style rhythm guitar. The film is funny but also moving, and the music throughout is wonderful. And you can even buy a Mel Bay book with transcriptions of Alden's solos from the film. Interestingly I have heard Howard Alden playing tenor banjo on youtube on "I'll see you in my dreams", one of the numbers from the film. His banjo solo, almost note for note, is what he plays on guitar in the movie.

Jul 13, 2018 - 2:59:18 PM

Muskrat

USA

321 posts since 3/29/2012

The only problem with that movie is Sean Penn's terrible job of syncing his hands to the music. It's much worse than the average actor pretending to play the guitar. For that reason, it's painful to watch.

Edited by - Muskrat on 07/13/2018 14:59:53

Jul 14, 2018 - 11:21:25 PM
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stanger

USA

7051 posts since 9/29/2004

quote:
Originally posted by John Gill

Hello
There is a great book called "Gypsy Jazz in search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing". It's written by Micheal Dregni and i got my copy on Amazon.com. It would appear that Django wanted to play banjo and it was not a case of having to settle for a banjo because he couldn't get a guitar. Django loved the 6 string banjo work of Gust Malha who was the favorite of the accordion players that played at the bal musettes around Pigalle and Belleville and Montmartre. The banjo was preferred for it's ability to cut through the crowd noise and for the way it could accompany the accordion with melody, harmony, bass lines and rhythm. The most popular tempo was the waltz, mazurka, etc. Looks like Gusti Malha made some recordings on banjo as did the young Django. The tenor banjo and the mandolin-banjo were also used. There is a picture of Django playing what looks like plectrum banjo and the famous shot of him as a young man with his 6 string banjo. Gusti also played guitar and remained a friend to Django for many years. So there is some precedent for utilizing the banjo for Gypsy/Romany Swing and Jazz. Maybe some adventurous banjo player could learn "La Minch Valse" composed by Matteo Garcia who was Gusti's teacher. Gusti also wrote many "Valses Manouche". Young Django spent about 10 years prowling the Bals Mussete with his banjo all the while honing his skills until he became the best. So the birth of Django really has it's roots in his banjo playing.
JohnGill


The Macaferri guitar Django played is about as close to a banjo as a guitar gets. I'm sure that the Macaferri's short, crisp, tone, with its short sustain and high volume, was a big reason why he chose those guitars to use.

Mario Macaferri was a classical guitar player, but when he designed the Jazz model, he was aiming for a banjo-like tone. I once read an old interview with him that mentioned this. While it became the guitar that is the most famous of all his work, he never liked them much.  They were a last resort for him; the classical players of the day never caught on to Macaferri's radical cutaway body design, even though they made the classical repertoire easier to play than on a Spanish-style classic. But the French and British jazz players loved the Jazz model.

He didn't like the Selmer company any better. Though the Selmer guitars he designed were intended to be factory produced, Selmer, a horn company, could never get the woodworking thing down enough to put together a guitar production team, so Macaferri hand-made them all, and it nearly drove him to the poor house doing it.

He made a few with 4-string tenor banjo necks on them. 

He eventually moved to the U.S., were he began experimenting with plastics. He became a millionaire making plastic ukuleles, and he was prouder of them than he was his Selmer guitars. He made a down-sized verson of the Selmers in plastic too. That little plastic guitar made him far more money than the Selmers ever did, and they were barely playable.

Late in life, Mario became an advisor to Ibanez in the mid-70s. At the time, I designed a 5-string Bi-Centennial banjo for Ibanez, and received the prototype as payment, after the prototype had gone to the Winter NAMM show in January 1976. When I went to pick the banjo up, there was a guitar case next to it which held another prototype- a Macaferri Jazz model that was made under Mario's supervision by Hondo, Ibanez' chief luthier at the time.

It was a flop at NAMM because at that time, few Americans knew anything about them or Django. But I did, and I was able to buy the guitar because I had just designed a banjo that sold well for them, and I still have it. I'll never know if Mario actually made anything in it, but I always thought he did, and it sounds just as good as any old Selmer I've ever played. Unlike the Selmers, the rosewood body is solid wood, and some of the nicest Brazilian I've ever owned. It has a very thin shellac finish, and for years, the scent of roses blossomed out of the case every time I opened it.

regards,

stanger 

Edited by - stanger on 07/14/2018 23:33:41

Jul 15, 2018 - 12:26:08 AM
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85 posts since 6/22/2010

Mike
Thanks for replying to my Django/Banjo responses. I've always suspected that Mr. Mario was quite the innovator.
I bet that guitar you have is a beauty. I have a Gypsy style guitar that was built by a fantastic luthier here in New York City. His name is Rodrigo Shopis and he makes beautiful guitars. He also uses solid rosewood back and sides. His guitars sound beautiful and I'm very proud of mine. Mine has Favino specs so it's an inch bigger than the Selmer specs. Rodrigo also makes guitars to Selmer/Mario specs.
Anyway, I love Django and his banjoisms which abound in his playing.
Regards
John Gill

Jul 15, 2018 - 12:40:21 PM

CGDA Players Union Member

Italy

1815 posts since 1/4/2009

Even if here tempo gradually loses speed, it could be a good example of banjos with a manouche taste.

https://www.facebook.com/kathi.b.sieber/videos/1991829517496285/

Edited by - CGDA on 07/15/2018 12:40:45

Jul 15, 2018 - 2:02:43 PM

stanger

USA

7051 posts since 9/29/2004

quote:
Originally posted by John Gill

Mike
Thanks for replying to my Django/Banjo responses. I've always suspected that Mr. Mario was quite the innovator.
I bet that guitar you have is a beauty. I have a Gypsy style guitar that was built by a fantastic luthier here in New York City. His name is Rodrigo Shopis and he makes beautiful guitars. He also uses solid rosewood back and sides. His guitars sound beautiful and I'm very proud of mine. Mine has Favino specs so it's an inch bigger than the Selmer specs. Rodrigo also makes guitars to Selmer/Mario specs.
Anyway, I love Django and his banjoisms which abound in his playing.
Regards
John Gill


Hi, John...

My guitar looks decidingly odd compared to the Selmers. Mr. Hondo patiently burned every grain line in the top with a small burning iron for decorative reasons, which makes the European spruce top look more like bamboo or something than spruce. The top is a tawny brown color and is quite rough to the fingers. Even though the little lines burned into it were sanded, the top feels rough to the touch.

After I bought the guitar, that roughness began bothering the little finger of my right hand, which is usually planted on the top, like the banjo player I am. I scored a piece of old tortoise pickguard stock from a friend and made a pickguard for it, as a smooth finger rest. So it's the only Selmer style guitar I've ever seen with a pickguard on the top.  The pickguard fits the body shape nicely, but it too looks odd and gets a lot of comments.

It carries the Tama brand name on the label and has the Tama inlayed pearl T on the peghead. At that time, the top-end Ibanez guitars were all branded as Tama, but it wasn't long afterward that the management decided to use the Tama name for only their drums. So that adds to the oddity, too.

None of the rosewood was filled or colored. So the body still shows all the open pores in the wood, and the thin French polish gave the guitar when it was new a matte appearance with very little shine. The rosewood is some of the last of the Ibanez stash, and is very handsome and colorful. The bookmatched sides at the butt have grain that looks like a butterfly with spread wings. 

But despite all that, the sound is pure Macaferri from top to bottom, and all the important stuff- the Selmer tailpiece, bridge, neck, etc. is there. 

it sure got a lot of attention back in the 70s when I first began packing it to festivals instead of my D-28. But over time, as the Macaferris became more widely known, only the Selmer guys pay much notice to it anymore. 

It's no longer at it's best these days; while it's not delicate, it was built thinly, and age has not been kind to it sonically. It's still in great condition, but I don't know if its sound could ever be fully restored to what it once was. But that's OK- I have other guitars now that I pack around, and I still love to play it at home. Maybe if I ever run into a Macaferri specialist who can pull it back into shape, I may get it worked on. Or not. I still like it just the way it is.

If I can find a pciture, I'll post it for you.

regards,

stanger

Edited by - stanger on 07/15/2018 14:03:33

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