We had previously exposed the clarinet in jazz, first in the New Orleans Clarinet Method , then in the Be-Bop Swing Clarinet Method , which included a blues with improvisation in the style of Hubert Rostaing, Django Reinhardt's favorite clarinetist, Blues for DJ.
With this book, we focus on a very particular period, which is located in France in the 30s, and which saw the birth of a new jazz, which we called gypsy jazz , or sometimes gypsy swing , or gypsy jazz , which will quickly become gypsy jazz , led by a genius musician: the guitarist Django Reinhardt, gypsy born in 1910, whose family settled in Paris in the 20s.
Django Reinhardt started playing at the balls of the capital at a very young age, and it is thanks to this mixture of dance music on the one hand, the Gypsy-inspired music imported into France by the Roma and Gypsy groups. on the other hand, and jazz, introduced by American soldiers in 1917 after the United States embarked on the first world war, that this typically French swing was born.
This style of jazz left especially in ears and memories this sound of strings, because it was quickly made known by a formation of the type violin - 2 guitars - contrabass, meeting a great success.
It's a little forget history, because the beginnings of the young Django were made in the dance halls, sharing with accordionists and clarinettists the first notes of this new musical genre. Moreover, when the violinist Stéphane Grappelli left the quintet of the Hot-Club of France during the war years, D. Reinhardt replaced him by a talented clarinettist, Hubert Rostaing, and other famous clarinetists will share this adventure: Alix Combelle , Maurice Meunier or André Ekyan.
So we tried to present this musical trend in this book, illustrating the style with songs modeled on standards, and with examples of improvisation in the manner of the great clarinetists of the time.
On the CD accompanying the book, you will find in the first part the songs recorded as an example, with the theme followed by his improvisation example, and in the second part the accompaniment alone, by the rhythm (in the gypsy jazz tradition : two guitars and double bass), playback, on which you can test your interpretations. The note (440 Hz) is given at the beginning of the CD, to allow you to tune.
Throughout the book, we have gathered some elements that seemed important for us to learn jazz codes in general: the basic principles of interpretation, the main effects of jazz to clarinet, the reminder of scales basic skills necessary for improvisation, the reminder of the main chords and their sequences ...
In the end, we have included the chords used in the method, the pentatonic and blues scales, the blues and anatole grids in all the tones, and a small lexicon that explains some key words for a better understanding. (The words in the lexicon are written in bold in our text). We finish with a few words about the clarinetists of this period, those who have marked the history of gypsy jazz.
So let's continue our trip to the country of the jazz clarinet ...
Good job, and good music!