Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Libertango - The Tzigane Version

Forgive me father, I have strayed to the music of Django. Fortunately, today's video provides the path to redemption as the Quartetto Gipsy Tzigano plays Libertango in a style that Django might recognize as Tzigane or Gypsy. The source of my detour through gypsy jazz was an excellent book, well researched and well written, Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend by Michael Dregni. A good read for anyone interested in the life of one of the more fascinating musicians of the twentieth century - I recommend it.

The Quartetto Gipsy Tzigano is fronted by violinist, Gianfranco Riccio, a classically trained musician who lists among his interests Tango Argentino and Manouche Jazz (Django was a Manouche gypsy). The other members of the quartet are Enzo Grimaldi on accordion, Sergio Fusaro on bass and Rocco Di Maiolo on soprano saxophone (hot, hot, hot).

The songs that follow Libertango are not Piazzolla but they are fun listening. All are done in a version of gypsy style with Fusaro's bass providing "la pompe" which is characteristic of gypsy jazz. Only the third piece, a medley of swing tunes including All of me, are Django related. The second piece, Artigana, is a contemporary Balkan piece by accordionist Admir Shkurtaj. The closing piece in the set is Guaglione, a Neapolitan tune by Giuseppe Fanciulli which has famously been latinized in this Perez Prado classic.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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