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Playlists: Gypsy jazz

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About Gypsy jazz

Gypsy jazz (also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz) is a style of jazz generally accepted to have been started by the Romani guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt in Paris during the 1930s. Because its origins are in France, and Reinhardt was from the Manouche Sinti clan, gypsy jazz is often called by the French name "jazz manouche", or alternatively, "manouche jazz" in English language sources.Django Reinhardt was foremost among a group of Romani guitarists working in Paris from the 1930s to the 1950s. The group included the brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt's brother Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt.Many gypsy jazz musicians worked in Paris in popular musette ensembles in which the lead instrument was typically the accordion with banjo accompaniment, the latter played with a plectrum for volume. Elements of both instruments appear in the "gypsy jazz" sound, with arpeggios and decorations typical of accordionists transferred to the guitar, and a right hand attack applied to the lead acoustic guitar to achieve maximum volume in an era of little or no electric amplification. Other elements of the ensemble sound included the use of stringed instruments only, which was unusual for its day. The absence of brass lead instruments and drums was a novelty in the jazz context, as well as the use of the double bass, which had taken over from the sousaphone to play bass lines. The absence of drums was compensated for by a highly rhythmic style of guitar accompaniment called "la pompe" which supplied both rhythm and harmonic structure for the soloists. Gypsy jazz can be performed on guitars alone with or without double bass. But in the Quintette du Hot Club de France, solo work alternated between Reinhardt on guitar and jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Later versions of the Quintette featured clarinet or saxophone as alternate lead instruments to the guitar, and these are sometimes featured in contemporary gypsy jazz ensembles in place of the violin, although obviously departing from the "all-strings" format. Reinhardt and his band used a range of guitar models available in France, but dominant among them was the Maccaferri guitar, formally called the "Selmer-Maccaferri" and then shortened to "Selmer". This model was popular enough to be marketed today as a "gypsy jazz guitar" played exclusively by gypsy jazz guitarists due to its tone and responsiveness. These guitars were made in two first versions, the earliest with a large "D" shaped sound hole, and later models with a smaller "O" shaped sound hole. The later models are considered most suited to lead guitar playing.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Gypsy jazz , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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