Manouche accordion in Paris

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maugein96
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Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by maugein96 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:23 pm

One or two recent posts concerned manouche music in Paris, or rather the lack of it.

It's there, but you'd need an insider's guide to where to find it. Fortunately, I used to work beside a Parisian bus driver, and he pointed me towards this venue.

To find this place, called "Aux Petits Joueurs", you need to take the Metro to the Danube Metro station, then find number 59 Rue de Mouzaia in the 19th arrondissement. It's tucked well away from the tourist traps and they only play manouche on Wednesdays. Oh, and before making the trek there, check to make sure there is an accordionist on the bill. They often play without one, and the accordion is replaced by an electric guitar, as it has been for some years now (glad I play both).

Marcel Loeffler, the blind manouche accordionist, is the player in this clip. Born into a genuine manouche family in Hagenau, near Strasbourg, he shows us how to get the best out of a "Gadji" brand accordion. They are made in central France especially for manouche players.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZB607zIHz8

When there is no accordion, check this guitarist out. Django might have struggled alongside this guy. They even have guitarists who play jazz on Fender Stratocasters, but that's for another forum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ4ONIS6b_s

Looking at You Tube videos of the club, the music styles appear to be quite varied on other nights of the week, although Wednesdays are reserved for Gitan music. However, there is no guarantee that an accordionist will be in the line up. The music leans towards the Rheinhardt/Grappelli Hot Club era, so accordionists are not "must haves". On the other days of the week you'll not get accordion music there at all.

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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by JeffJetton » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:03 pm

Great tip! Thanks.

Your post inspired me to post this: https://accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7027

Maybe you could add this recommendation (and any other "accordion in Paris" tips you might have) to that thread?

maugein96
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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by maugein96 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:19 pm

JeffJetton wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:03 pm
Great tip! Thanks.

Your post inspired me to post this: https://accordionists.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7027

Maybe you could add this recommendation (and any other "accordion in Paris" tips you might have) to that thread?

Jeff,

I think that's a good idea, but don't know how to do that. I assume I just copy the post and transpose it to the other thread, but I'll need to read up on how that's done. I'll be off the forum until Sunday (no internet).

Cheers,

John W

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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by OuijaBoard » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:59 pm

[[[Oh, and before making the trek there, check to make sure there is an accordionist on the bill. They often play without one]]]

This is just my point. I did not find your much-appreciated boite referral during my weeks in Paris last year, but I did hunt and succeed in ferreting out manouche music listed elsewhere--but no accordeons. I saw some brilliant stuff in a small basement space in the venerable Sunside jazz club, but it was Grappelli style violin and guitars. I remain mystified by this.

I DID see wonderful manouche accordion once, but by accident. Around 9PM on a Sunday I heard manouche coming out of an irish pub of all things, the Green Linnet. Turns out they have a manouche jam on Sunday evenings. I stayed about an hour and a half watching a small circle of about 5 wonderful players who appeared to be manouche ethnic or Spaniards, including a very adroit accordionist rendering manouche on a PA. It was actually delightful to see played in such a casual, informal setting of a few folks in a small circle facing each other among the pub tables, trading runs. If you check out the Green Linnet pub on FB, there are mentions of the Sunday manouche partie. But again . . . Betting it's sheer chance whethere there's an accordion in the house.

maugein96
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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by maugein96 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:29 am

The original Hot Club de France was an all strings line up, featuring violin, double bass, lead guitar, and two rhythm guitars.

The gypsy musicians appear to have infiltrated the musette bands in a backing role, until dedicated Manouche bands were formed which featured accordionists who "converted" to that style of playing. Gus Viseur, who was from a family of travelling canal boat people in Belgium, was one of the pioneers of the manouche style.

When the "swing" violin style of players became outdated in the late 40s, the accordion came to the fore, and we know the rest.

The Manouche were the "clan" of gypsies that Django Rheinhardt belonged to. The Ferret brothers, who sometimes featured as his rhythm guitarists, were Roma gypsies, and the name "manouche" was given to the genre in honour of Django. The French word for gypsy is actually "Gitan", and "manouche" or "jazz manouche" specifically relates to the music style.

Personally speaking I doubt whether I could be bothered trekking all over Paris looking for any type of accordion venue, although I may have done so in my younger days.

The most famous Parisian accordion venue of all time, Balajo (named after Jo Privat), is situated at 9 Rue de Lappe, in the Bastille area of the city. It was possible to hear accordionists playing there on Mondays between 1400 - 1900, with the club being used as a disco/night club at other times. It's website is currently down, so I don't know if the Monday Tea dances are still on the go.

A large number of accordion events in France appear to be held at outdoor venues where the amplification of the instruments concerned is/was often pretty rough. I've never been there since the currency was the Franc, so I'm one or two years out of touch.

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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by Corsaire » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:22 am

Maugein wrote:The Manouche were the "clan" of gypsies that Django Rheinhardt belonged to. The Ferret brothers, who sometimes featured as his rhythm guitarists, were Roma gypsies, and the name "manouche" was given to the genre in honour of Django. The French word for gypsy is actually "Gitan", and "manouche" or "jazz manouche" specifically relates to the music style.
I hear the word "manouche" used out of musical circles as a derogatory term for gypsies/Roms in France. "Tzigane" seems to be more generally used where we have lived and I've heard the term "Gitan" more in the south.
It's sad to hear the term "manouche" misused in this way - after all, I believe the origin of the word is simply "man".

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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by maugein96 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:05 am

Corsaire wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:22 am
Maugein wrote:The Manouche were the "clan" of gypsies that Django Rheinhardt belonged to. The Ferret brothers, who sometimes featured as his rhythm guitarists, were Roma gypsies, and the name "manouche" was given to the genre in honour of Django. The French word for gypsy is actually "Gitan", and "manouche" or "jazz manouche" specifically relates to the music style.
I hear the word "manouche" used out of musical circles as a derogatory term for gypsies/Roms in France. "Tzigane" seems to be more generally used where we have lived and I've heard the term "Gitan" more in the south.
It's sad to hear the term "manouche" misused in this way - after all, I believe the origin of the word is simply "man".
Hi Sally,

In the city of Edinburgh, quite a few slang words are of Gypsy origin, having been brought to the area by a Gyspy tribe from the Yetholm area, here in the Scottish Borders. The dialect they spoke seems to have developed from various gypsy languages, and a handful of words were still used in everyday Edinburgh speech when I lived in the city in the late 70s/early 80s.

In June each year the village of Yetholm, like most other Border towns and villages, holds an equestrian festival. A respected unmarried male and female are elected as principals in the festival. The male has the title of "Bari Gadgi", and the female is entitled "Bari Manushi".

The word "Bari" means "good", and you'll hear it used on the streets of Edinburgh in the same context:- i.e.:- "He fancies he's bari." = "He thinks he's great".

In Scottish gypsy terminology a "Gadgi" is a male who is not of gypsy blood, and in Edinburgh the term is used as a slightly derogatory reference to any male whose identity is unknown. In Edinburgh you may hear somebody say, " Does anybody know that gadji?"

The only time I have ever heard the term "manushi" is in Yetholm where it seems to refer to a female who is not of gypsy blood. The likeness to the word "manouche" may be purely coincidental, as "manushi" appears to be of Indian origin. The Yetholm Gypsies claim to have originated from Hindustan and Egypt and lived in the Yetholm area as a "tribe" for a few hundred years. They had all moved out of the area by the 20th century, and some Borderers can claim to be related to them, despite the fact that intermarriage between the gypsies and the native populace appears to have been rare. The tribe who ended up in Yetholm were apparently granted land in reward for gallantry whilst performing military service in the 17th century.

There are so many tales of folklore relating to the various Gypsy septs worldwide that it is extremely difficult to translate the word "manouche" accurately. Some sources say the term is used exclusively in French speaking parts of the world, but the fact remains that some derogatory terms also have racial connotations, some less obvious than others.

In my home area the term "Hottentot" was used to describe anybody who just didn't conform to the normal rules of society, and there was no racial connotation implied, as none of us knew what a "Hottentot" was, despite the fact we used the term in daily speech. After the advent of the internet, we all got to know what a Hottentot was so had to be careful in what context we used the word.

The following clips will hopefully clear up any ambiguity over what a Hottentot is. Or will they?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdGF8236ssI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC_kSBUxR_4

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Re: Manouche accordion in Paris

Post by Corsaire » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:03 pm

"gadjo" or sometimes "gadji" is used in France by gypsies for non-gypsy people.

As an aside, with regard to the word Hottentot, the longest word ever used in a German newspaper was :
"Hottentotenpotentatentantenattentat"
which means "Assassination of the Hottentot potentate's aunt" !

There have been many documentaries on the origins of gypsies, most agreeing that they probably came from the far east, then dividing to go north and south of the Mediterranean. People have moved around for centuries perhaps mostly due to war/religious persecution and famine/starvation
and it's likely that gypsies kept moving for any or all of these reasons.

Which begs the question about the origines of some music styles !

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