Friday, December 11, 2009

Quatre Tickets de Swing: Django Souvenirs

Quatre Tickets de Swing: Aandenken aan Django ( Nederlands) Quatre Tickets de Swing: Django Souvenirs ( Engels)

Dutch Hot Club formation releases new album dedicated to Django's musical heritage.
Hans Koert

Last year we commemorated the 100th birthday of the Argentine guitar player Oscar Aleman, who was born the 20th of February, 1909 in the small town of Machagui in the republic of Argentina. This landmark in jazz history was commemorated by his relatives, fans and colleagues and in the summer of 2008 a plaque in the hall of his apartment was revealed in his honor by the local authorities of Buenos Aires. Next year we will commemorate that other giant on the guitar, his friend and colleague Django Reinhardt; two musicians who always are mentioned in one and the same breath. Django Reinardt, the Belgian born gypsy guitar player, developed into a legendary instrumentalist, whose sound is easily recognizable and loved by thousands of admirers. The Dutch band Quatre Tickets de Swing, is such a band, fully dedicated to the music of Django Reinhardt.

Georg Lankester ( Raalte - October 2009) (photo courtesy: Quatre Tickets de Swing)

The band Quatre Tickets de Swing was founded more then ten years ago in Zwolle ( eastern part of The Netherlands) by Georg Lankester, Pieter Swart, Arthur Siero and Eric Buijsen to spread the music of their common idol. As an honor to Django's music it released its third album, titled Django Souvenirs. The quartet contains two guitars ( solo guitar is played by Georg Lankester and the rhythm guitar by Arthur Siero), a double bass ( Eric van Buijsen) and a saxophone or clarinet ( Pieter Swart). Although we normally associate Django with his 1930s Quintette du Hot Club de France recordings, featuring two rhythm guitars, himself at the solo guitar, a bass player and a violin player: the well known Stephane Grappelli, this Dutch group has chosen for a saxophone player, one solo and one rhythm guitar and a bass player - the line-up used by Django during the war and post war period, as Stephane Grappelli had moved to England. Ita Van Dijk ( Raalte - October 2009) (photo courtesy: Quatre Tickets de Swing)

The album contains 14 tracks in the so-called Hot Club style; swing tunes from the 1930s up to the 1950s and compositions by Django. Although the title suggests that this is a recollection of Django Reinhardt compositions - it is not; the album contains only four Reinhardt compositions and one Django arrangement. Fact is, that all tracks have been recorded by Django during his 25 year musical career. What to think about the opener, Chicago ( full name Chicago ( That Toddling Town), originally a hit from the early 1920s, but recorded by Django in the 1930s or the less heard tune Clair de Lune, which was recorded by Django in April 1947. Quatre Tickets de Swing + one ( f.l.t.r. Georg Lankester - Pieter Swart - Ita Van Dijk - Arthur Siero - Eric Van Buijsen (photo courtesy: Quatre Tickets de Swing)

The quartet was enlarged with a vocalist Ita Van Dijk, who is a freelance journalist in daily life. She is to be heard on three tracks, like the well known Django composition Nuages, the Charles Trenet composition Que Reste-t'il de nos amours and the tune Ricordati Ragazzo, a 1949 hit by Natalino Otto, based on the Nat King Cole hit Nature Boy. This tune was originally written by eden ahbez (sic) ( small letters), a rather excentric Californian, who didn't wrote his name with capitals as he found that only names of the Supreme Being should be written with capitals ( He was a Buddhist). Django recorded it, like Charles Trenet Menilmontand, track 13 on the record, with an Italian rhythm section in January 1949 in Rome. It has become a great selection of Reinhardt classics abd rare heard more obscure tunes. Both Pieter Swart, who plays some good solos, as Ita Van Dijk, who has a pretty voice, have struck me. It's a pity that she is only to be heard singing on three tracks ....... Django Souvenirs is not the quartet's first album. A few years ago it released: Remembering Django and Hawk (2005).

On Sunday the 13th of December, 2009 its latest album, Django Souvenirs, will be released with a concert at the partycentrum De Horst in Deventer ( at 2:00 pm). At this concert the record can be obtained at a reduced price, but you can also order in at their website. ( )

A great Xmas present..............

Hans Koert

If you like the music as played by Django and his followers, like this Quatre Tickets de Swing and you love to stay informed about that, please visit the Keep Swinging blog. If you don't want to miss any contribution, please register and I'll keep in touch with you. Register!

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