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Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing Reprint Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199756254
ISBN-10: 0199756252
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Editorial Reviews

Review


Reviews of the hardback edition:


"Dregni's passion for Django Reinhardt and the enduring overlap of gypsy music and jazz leads to a picaresque journey from the US, across modern Europe and back again. The music itself is the wandering hero as Dregni gracefully weaves together historical research, personal insights, and conversations with colorful, music-making characters. Generous, musical storytelling at its best!"-- Ashley Kahn, author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album


"Dregni writes as Django played: lyrical, inventive, engaging and often undeniably brilliant. With Gypsy Jazz he shines light upon the 'holes in history' that have so long obscured this most celebrated yet mysterious arena of Romany music. An astonishing text."--Garth Cartwright, author of Princes Amongst Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians


"In this fascinating picaresque adventure into European gipsy culture, Michael Dregni not only discovers much hitherto undocumented information about the background to the great manouche guitarist Django Reinhardt, but also about his musical and social forbears, contemporaries and heirs. Dregni's sparky prose and fervent enthusiasm enliven his search, which always comes back to the music itself, in which he finds, alongside the influence of American jazz, a timeless romani wistfulness, the lingering melancholy of an itinerant people."--Alyn Shipton, Jazz critic of The Times, London, and author of A New History of Jazz


"A highly original book that's part history, part detective story and part travelogue...
Dregi does a beautiful job tracking down the details and making the people and music come alive. Gypsy Jazz is an important and delightful addition to the ongoing story of Gypsy jazz, and provides an essential bridge to this fascinating people and their culture." --All About Jazz


About the Author

Michael Dregni is a columnist, reviewer, and feature writer for Vintage Guitar magazine, and author of D.jango: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend (O.U.P., 2004).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (August 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199756252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199756254
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.8 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,868,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gypsy Jazz has gone from being an obscure, nearly forgotten form of music to being more popular than ever and most of this started with the story of Django Reinhardt that has long been known among guitar players. Michael Dregni has gone to great lengths to research the roots of Gypsy Jazz and to flesh out the story far beyond just Django Reinhardt's contribution to the genre. He also shows that Gypsy Jazz did not cease to develop with Django's death in 1953. The music was carried forward by many people over the years and has evolved along the way. Dregni went to great lengths to research who these people were and to interview them. The crowning acheivement of all this was a guitar lesson he took from David Reinhardt, the grandson of Django himself.

Another high point was the account of attending the annual Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. After the religious services the next activity is countless jam sessions in the Gypsy encampments. One can only wonder just what it would be like to be there and hear some of the finest, most spontaneous music known to man. Well, that's as much as I'm going to give you for free, if you want more you'll have to buy the book . . . something I recommend highly to anyone with an interest in Gypsy Jazz.
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Format: Hardcover
Being half french myself (son of a French family emigrated to Argentina in the 50's) , having lived in Paris for a while and knowing a good deal of gypsy jazz from seeing, playing and talking about it in it's original land, I can say that Dregni knows his subject.
Even if - for literary or other purposes - he seems at times to romanitize a little bit (Nobody these days fight in Rue Lepic, much less with knives ( I used to live just around Café des Deux Moulins before and after it was sold, due to the "Amélie Poulain fame") or take some tales as is (ALL french gypsies call themselves "cousins" no matter what relation they have) the book is indeed the best researched, best written, best all encompassing piece on the subject that I've had come across. The only exception being Alain Antonietto's works (who happens to be - It seems - a close friend to Dregni).

If you play this music, simply love it or even if you have just a small curiosity about it, get Dregni's book right away.

On the same note (and being a musician myself) I can add a tip: stay away from Paul Melhing Gypsy guitar DVD's and books. The guy doesn't have a clue of what he's talking about (see youtube vid's for a sample) and - ias a side effect - you'll get convinced of this once you've read Dregni's book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful book for anyone with an interest in what is today called "Gypsy Jazz" or jazz manouche. A wealth of little known and well researched information on the earliest masters of this form of music through to the present day, (and everywhere in between).
Well written and immensely readable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has been painstakingly assembled with loving care and enthusiasm.If you are interested in Django Rheinhardt's music,it is now possible to learn the history of where the Gypsies who play this music came from.You will learn how it is passed from generation to generation,often within the same families.It is a fascinating account of a style of music which has now spread across the planet.I was inspired and thrilled to learn details which were not available elsewhere.I hope other readers will be equally stimulated by the results of all the author's hard work and travels
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very thorough and well researched! Michael gets the ins and outs of this musical style and is a Gypsy Jazz Authority for sure!

From the origins of the music, by the master of guitar Django Reinhardt, to the modern day players, he explains the evolution of Gypsy Jazz with clear understanding.

If you're a fan of Gypsy Jazz this book must be on your shelf!

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