In the 1930s and 1940s there was a guitar player, René Didi Duprat, who wasn’t a manouche, a gypsy, like many French guitar players, but a gadjo, which means in the Sinti-language, that he isn’t a gypsy. He was a great accompanist at the guitar and played with great musicians, like Tony Muréna and numerous others.
George Lankester wrote an article about this unknown French guitar player, titled René Didi Duprat, that was published yesterday in Dutch. Today you'll find the English version René Didi Duprat - Maitre de Musette.
Thanks to Didi’s widow, Denise Duprat, George writes, I got some additional information and photos of this great guitar player I love to share.
"Didi" was born on the 12th of October 1926 in Paris. As a kid he learned to play the mandolin and the banjo, but the guitar would soon become his major instrument. Django Reinhardt was his inspiration and soon he played with important manouche guitarists.
At sixteen he played in the Michel Warlop Orchestra and in 1943 he accompanied Gus Viseur, the most important accordion player in those days and with Tony Muréna, the accordion player which whom he played in the parks and streets of Paris, when he was a kid. He performed with the Orchestra of Louis Ferrari, another accordionist and bandleader, until 1952. He became a friend of Marcel Azzola, a well known musette player in those days.
In 1958 Didi replaces guitarist Henri Crolla in some tours of the famous singer Yves Montand and it brings him some fame. He becomes a sought after accompanist for musicians like Dalida, Juliette Gréco and Marléne Dietrich until the mid 1970s.
People who enjoy Hot Club Jazz will like to know that the left-handed guitarist Didi Duprat, is to be heard on several recordings of the late 1930s and 1940s, in recordings with Musette musicians like Muréna.
It is remarkable to learn that he also played with musicians like Gus Viseur, the accordion player who was so famous because of his swing and improvisations. His records were released on the Swing label.
Didi also played with the Ferret brothers, guitarists that were famous too. Early 1990s, not long before he became ill, he was at the Paris Musette CD recordings as an accompanist with musicians like Louis Corchia, Lassagne and Azzola.
Although he is to be heard as a solist now and then, here he is an appreciated skilled accompanist, together with Didier Roussin, a great connoisseur of Musette. On two CDs, “La Lichére” and “Vent d’Automne” (Frémeaux LLL 137 and 207) you can find tracks with traditional manouche jazz tunes, but also waltzes, mazurka’s and the Parisian Java. Short after these recordings some great musicians like Jo Privat and Didier Roussin passed away. On the 8th of august 1996 René Didi Duprat died, remembered as an amaible musician, who was labelled in France as ‘Maître de Musette’.
Georg Lankester - email@example.com
Last year George Lankester made a book about the history of the Swing-Musette. I told you about that in my contribution Swing-Musette . He plays solo guitar in the group Quatre Tickets de Swing
Trumpet player Rik Mol, living in 's Heer Arendskerke, a small village in the centre of the Zeeland province in the southwest part of The Netherlands, is nominated for an Edison Award, the Dutch Grammy. He is nominated for the Edison Jazz Publieksprijs for his album What's On Tonight. I hope to tell you more about that album later.
Nederlands ( To the English translation )
In de jaren dertig en veertig van de vorige eeuw bevonden zich tussen de vele manouche gitaristen een "gadjo" die geprezen werd om zijn fijne begeleiding - René Didi Duprat. Hij was o.a. de vaste begeleider van Tony Muréna, maar speelde ook met diverse andere beroemdheden.
George Lankester schreef een bijdrage, getiteld Rene Didi Duprat over deze ondergewaardeerde gitarist, met als ondertitel Een gitarist die meer bekendheid verdient. Vandaag de Engelse versie van het verhaal: Rene Didi Duprat - Maitre de Musette
George Lankester verdiepte zich vorig jaar in de geschiedenis van de Musette. Hierover is verslag gedaan in de blog Swing-Musette .
Hij speelt sologitaar in de groep Quatre Tickets de Swing, waarover ik ook een recentie schreef over een optreden in Amecitia in Kloetinge in april vorig jaar.
Hans Koert - firstname.lastname@example.org
Trompettist Rik Mol uit 's Heer Arendskerke, een dorpje in het centrum van Zeeland (vlakbij Goes en Heinkenszand uiteraard), is genomineerd voor een Edison in de Edison Jazz Publieksprijs categorie voor zijn album What's On Tonight. Het zou mooi zijn als ik dit album binnenkort kon bespreken.
Gefeliciteerd, Rik (vanuit Heinkenszand)!!
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