Quintette du Hot Club de France: After You've Gone

After its initial recordings on Ultraphone and Decca, the QHCF moved to the HMV label. “After You’ve Gone” was recorded on their first session for the label and there seems to have been some growing pains. The balance is not as good as on the other labels, with especially weak recording of the bass. The opening chorus is by Grappelli this time around and he is immediately followed by the Louis Armstrong-inspired singing of Freddie Taylor. It seems that everyone is holding back in these opening choruses, and sure enough, as soon as Taylor is finished, the intensity goes up as Django goes into a finger-busting chorus filled with fast arpeggios and runs, and concluding with a chorded intro to Grappelli. The violinist takes charge, building the intensity with every chorus. The breaks, built into the tune at the end of each 16-bar section, seem to have little effect on Taylor, but each time Reinhardt and Grappelli hit them, they add to the growing excitement of the recording.

August 27, 2009 · 0 comments


Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt: After You've Gone

The start of World War II broke up the popular Quintette du Hot Club de France, then touring England, with Stéphane Grappelli remaining in London for the duration of the conflict, while Django Reinhardt returned to France. Beginning in 1946, the two reunited periodically up until their last recordings in Italy in 1949. As one hears on this track from those final sessions, their playing by then had taken on a new level of assuredness and virtuosity, no doubt indirectly influenced by the innovations of bebop. Except for the pianist's brief intro, the Italian rhythm section goes almost unnoticed. It is the astonishing, swiftly executed solos of both leaders, as well as Django's almost manic rhythm guitar support for Stéphane, that nearly overwhelm the listener. It would be another 20 years before Grappelli's popularity began to accelerate, and it continued to do so for almost another 30 years after that. Django, alas, would drift through the next, and last, four frustrating years of his life.

March 25, 2008 · 0 comments


Christian Escoudé: After You've Gone

The international audience may not be aware of Christian Escoudé, but his peers know better. Outside of France, he has recorded with the likes of John McLaughlin or Charlie Haden. In his native country, he is considered a great. Here, Escoudé goes back to his Gypsy roots, even if he usually doesn't want to be confined to this genre. His Gypsy trio (Sylvestre being the only non-Gypsy) both pays homage to the tradition and explores the possibilities that this setting offers to three acoustic guitar players with contemporary influences. Virtuosity, tight interaction between creative soloing and fairly traditional strumming, expressive moans and groans – this all conjures up popular cafés in the outskirts of Paris where Gypsy musicians often meet. But these definitely don't sound like orthodox followers of Django Reinhardt.

February 26, 2008 · 0 comments


The California Ramblers: After You've Gone

Nothing much happened in 1927. Oh, Lindbergh flew the Atlantic in an orange crate, The Jazz Singer launched talkies, Babe Ruth launched 60 homers, Ellington recorded "East St. Louis Toodle-oo," Bix "Singin' the Blues," Satch "Potato Head Blues" and "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan were born. But otherwise, '27 was as uneventful as the Big Bang. The only bright spot was Adrian Rollini's goofus solo on "After You've Gone" by the California Ramblers, who incidentally didn't hail from California, rarely rambled, and included the quaintly named trumpeter Chelsea Quealey. Whatever, nobody blew hotter goofus than Rollini.

December 03, 2007 · 0 comments


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