Wednesday, December 24, 2008

expose yourself to new music: DJANGO

i was just a kid when i heard about jean ‘django’ reinhardt; i heard about him in a movie called ‘swing kids’ which randomly still makes me tear up at the end. i never found myself interested in the big band sound, it was to... well i don't know, it just never sat right no matter how hard i tried to like it.
while writing this last record in new orleans i discovered a new type of jazz that really caught my attention, started by the above stated name. it was called gypsy jazz and had a different sound, a unique sound that makes me feel like im sitting on Frenchman street every time i listen to it.
the amazing thing about the man who created an entire GENRE of music is that django was trapped inside a house fire django had one leg paralyzed, and could only use two fingers; all the solos, and the chords were played with only two fingers.
when tragedy occurs in our own life, whether physical or emotional we tend to turn off parts of our life to accommodate our handicaps and shortcomings, but we don’t have to. take a lesson from django and learn to work around the problems and search for solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Django_Reinhardt

28 comments:

aletheia said...

Thanks for the recommendation!I love gypsy music, but I'd never heard gypsy jazz before. Really neat.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the recommedation. :-)

When I was diagnosed with MS, it was people like this that inspired me to not see my disease and disabilities as a "handicap"... your limitations are only handicaps if you allow them to be.

We need more people like this in the world. thanks for posting.

guard my dreams said...

reminds me of those old, classic, black and white movies that never quite go out of style. i like it.

Kelly said...

yeah i love django!! way to spread the word!! haha i am loving how random this post is for christmas eve... thanks and have a good one!!

invisiblelightx said...

Cool stuff.
When bad things happen to me (more emotional than physical at this point) I tend to lock myself away, which probably isn't the best thing. I'm working on it.

PS. Happy Holidays! :D

Andrew said...

whaat Swing Kids is one of my favorite movies. Anyway thanks for sharing django's stuff, It's pretty cool.

[Cr*] said...

nice 'new stuff' (at least for me) ;)
well just wanna wish you and the band Happy Holidays may God bless you and all your families!

amanda said...

how absolutely amazing. i think i might have to watch that movie

Black Velvet Magazine said...

It's funny you should write about Django, who has a paralyzed leg. I was just reading Ingrid Newkirk's 'One Can Make A Difference' book - which I recommend everyone reads. I actually just read the essay in it by Aimee Mullins who had her legs amputated when she was young and used prosthetic legs. She tells about how ended up winning the National Disabled Sports Championships in Boston, running with prosthetic legs. It's a very inspiring read. The book as a whole is inspiring - so if you haven't read it you should pick it up! There are a wide variety of stories about how individuals have made a difference in life and overcome obstacles. Reading the book makes me wish I had more talent and come make more of a difference myself.

Anonymous said...

thanks stephen! that was very interesting.

and I really need a distraction.

ChristinaTheAnomalous said...

Wow. That was really inspiring! My Nani was a huge "big band" fan...and this kinda reminded me of her. She has memory loss now...and music is the only thing that she'll respond to anymore....that and her native Sicilian tongue. Thanks for posting this! I've not only found a new genre, but recovered old memories as well. Merry Christmas! ~Chris

~Kes said...

hmm this stuff is really interesting..and i agree with guard my dreams =] the classic stuff that's always kinda there, and will always be there, in the background of all the new flashy stuff

aletheia said...

I just watched this again, and it made me really want to start practicing my violin more. I wish I were that talented!

Hannah said...

wow. that is amazing. I've heard of that before, but forgot... and never got to look it up. Thanks for sharing! Now I really want to play the guitar.. but it's 1 AM and I don't think the people in my house would appreciate it...

Hudson said...

I'll soak up some Django. While I do that, you should soak up some Bon Iver. I just discovered them, and it's a nice departure from what I usually listen to.

Jen said...

That was great. I'd heard of Django before, but never really listened to him before now... awesome.

I didn't really get into the big band/swing sound much either... until I taking swing dance lessons this year. Now I love it. (actually, that's where I'd heard of Django) :) As Guard my Dreams and Kes said, some things never go out of style.

Chris said...

Thanks for the interesting post! That's the beauty of life...learning and being exposed to new and different things. We have much to learn and experience from each other.
Wishing you an exciting new year!!

Nylan said...

More proof that music conquers all :)

lauracp said...

i belong to a jazz tap dance school here in dallas and am so glad you enjoy the music, along with one of my all-time fav movies. maybe there'll be a bit of the influence in your new music?

Chad Kelham said...

Stephen,

As a music lover who isn't afraid to listen to any musical genre I run across, or just get tuned into new music period, I've gotta say that this is a pretty awesome & insightful post; thanks for bringing Django up!!

Mark Duarte said...

i really like that guys story, but the music wasn't all that in my opinion. just a preference I suppose...

Story of a Girl said...

I have been inspired by your blogs to listen to different genres of music. Thank you :) But I also love that you also have an interest in the artist himself. I think a lot of us Anberlin fans not only admire your bands great music, but also the wonderful artists AND people that you guys are...

And thanks for letting us know about this artist, Django...he is definately inspiring as well.

Eve said...

I found this quite touching:

On November 2nd, 1928 an event took place that would forever change Django's life. At one o'clock in the morning the 18 year old Django returned from a night of playing music at a new club "La Java" to the caravan that was now the home of himself and his new wife. The caravan was filled with celluloid flowers his wife had made to sell at the market on the following day. Django upon hearing what he thought was a mouse among the flowers bent down with a candle to look. The wick from the candle fell into the highly flammable celluloid flowers and the caravan was almost instantly transformed into a raging inferno. Django wrapped himself in a blanket to shield him from the flames. Somehow he and his wife made it across the blazing room to safety outside, but his left hand, and his right side from knee to waist were badly burned.

Initially doctors wanted to amputate his leg but Django refused. He was moved to a nursing home where the care was so good his leg was saved. Django was bedridden for eighteen months. During this time he was given a guitar, and with great determination Django created a whole new fingering system built around the two fingers on his left hand that had full mobility. His fourth and fifth digits of the left hand were permanently curled towards the palm due to the tendons shrinking from the heat of the fire. He could use them on the first two strings of the guitar for chords and octaves but complete extension of these fingers was impossible. His soloing was all done with the index and middle fingers! Film clips of Django show his technique to be graceful and precise, almost defying belief.

I love that he was playing in a club called "La Java" in Paris in 1928..just transport me now...


I truly believe that the secret to life is knowing how to adapt..always bending but never breaking.


If you have not seen this, the Bogart and Bacall movie "To Have and Have Not" is all about the music and my favorite lesser known Bogart film. It is well worth the effort to get your hands on this classic. He and Bacall met, fell in love, and later named their only son Stephen after Bogart's character in the film. Great trivia. {I am full of it.}

Thanks for the post Stephen... Eve

Stephanie said...

Thanks for that Eve!

Ryan said...

That's amazing! You called it exactly on what personal attitudes should be when life throws you a curveball. I'm going to be whistling that tune the rest of the day though...

graham. said...

I read this book myself a couple months ago. nice post;as i had the same thoughts.

Rover Fox said...

with two fingers he plays better then most guitarist

Beck said...

reminds me of like a french bistro
it heaps catchy
you just want to start tapping your feet along to the music
its amazing what people will overcome to do what they love