Thursday, January 15, 2009


La Gitane - Tchou Tchan Vidal

Rating: 6/10
Sound Quality: 320 kb/s
Format: Mp3
Record Label: Iris Music
Year Released: 2006
Album Covers: Included
Pass: radiodada
Links: rapidshare

Note From Dada
Μια Κινέζική παροιμία λέει ότι: "το σκοτεινότερο σημείο βρίσκεται κάτω από τη λάμπα"...
Κάπως έτσι ισχύει για αυτόν τον φοβερό κιθαρίστα (όπως και για άλλους πολλούς) που κάτω από τη δικαιολογημένη "φήμη" του Django έμεινε κατά μία έννοια στο περιθώριο και την αφάνεια.

About Tchou Tchan Vidal
Paul Vidal remains one of the mysterious figures of Gypsy jazz, eclipsed in the spotlight by the shadow of Django. Like the brothers Matelo, Baro, and Sarane Ferret—and even Django’s own brother, Joseph “Nin-Nin” Reinhardt—Tchan-Tchou’s contributions to the music have often been overlooked.
One reason for this is that Tchan-Tchou chose not to move to Paris to seek his fortune with his guitar. Like fellow Gypsy guitarist Patotte Bousquet of Marseilles, Tchan-Tchou stayed primarily in the south of France, far away from the limelight and the recording companies in the capitol.
Paul Vidal was born in a Gypsy caravan on November 22, 1923, in Aix-en-Provence. According to legend, he looked from birth as if he was Chinese, earning him the eastern-sounding moniker of “Tchan-Tchou.”
Vidal’s father traveled throughout southern France with his family performing the ages-old Gypsy craft of caning chairs. But at night, his father picked up his guitar to play with other Gypsies in the family’s caravan. Django was a family acquaintance and reportedly Vidal père at times backed Django when he visited the south. As a youth, Tchan-Tchou learned to play guitar from watching his father and Django.
By the time he was 23, Vidal was playing with two other guitarists in the city of Lyon as the Hot Club de Jazz de Lyon, mimicking the name and musical style of Django’s Hot Club de France. He continued to play in Lyon and throughout the French south for the next several decades, appearing in cafes and dancehalls and on radio and television broadcasts, including Radio Monte Carlo concerts.
Tchan-Tchou recorded only sporadically. His first release came in 1966 or 1967 on local Lyonnais label JBP was a 45rpm EP covering Django’s “Nuages” among other jazz standards.
He released his first full album, Guitare Party (Bel Air 411 053; re-released as Musidisc CV1098), in the late 1960s or early 1970s, playing an acoustic guitar on a variety of jazz standards such as “Premier Rendez-vous,” “Besame Mucho,” and “La Complainte De Mackie.” But it was in his own compositions like the fiery waltzes “La Gitane” and “Dolorès” as well as the Gypsy classics “Les Deux Guitares” and “Les Yeux Noirs” that his elegant style blossoms. His playing shifts in a blink of the eye between simple, restrained melodies and bursts of flashy, mile-long arpeggios, creating an air that is rooted deeper in traditional Gypsy music than that of Django.
Tchan Tchou also recorded a cassette of valses musette backing Gypsy accordion virtuouso Tony “Tieno” Fallone.
In 1980, Tchan-Tchou released two further albums, Swinging Guitars (Vogue VG 407 508634) and Nomades… (Vogue VG 508624), backed by his long-time accomplice, Corsican guitarist François Codaccioni as well as bassist Alf Masselier and Roger Paraboschi on drums.
Drums. On these albums, Vidal played an Ibanez ES-175 copy on more swing valse and French jazz standards such as “La Foule,” “Jeux Interdits,” and Gus Viseur’s accordeon anthem “Swing Valse.”
Again, however, it was Tchan-Tchou’s originals that shone on these later albums. His ferocious flourishes and rapid runs accent his compositions “Sans Probleme,” “Tant Pis ou Tant Mieux,” “Mes Amours d’Espagne,” “Le Yeux de Dolorès,” and “Le Guitare a la Main.” His style of playing, composition, and arrangement was uniquely his own, but would be echoed in that of his new accompanist, Moréno Winterstein.
“I busked in the cafés around Toulon,” Moréno notes. “One day I was playing at a terrace café when a short, well-dressed man, wearing a hat and a moustache, came up to me. He said, ‘You’re from Alsace. I can tell by the way you play.’ It was Tchan-Tchou, a gypsy guitarist who got his nickname because of his slanted eyes. I had head a lot about Tchan-Tchou and had listened to his records. I had often dreamed of meeting him. I could talk for hours about him. The same night we met, we played together and immediately hit it off. I was nervous and very impressed by him. He played two notes for ten of my own. I quickly understood that I was nothing next to him. I was like a young puppy jumping around like crazy while he took his time to carefully place his phrases.
“I decided to stay in Toulon. I found myself a camper and accompanied him for four years. He taught me the basics, in particular the art of waltzes, the notion of measure and the musicality of a phrase. It is when you are separated from someone like that you realise how much you learned from them. Today I still think of how he played and he remains a reference. I was extremely lucky to have met with someone like Tchan-Tchou.”


DonPollas said...

Great blog, man!

This Tchan Tchoy, wow how great it was, really enjoy with his style of playing.

That album, Nomades, have you got it man?????

Radiodada said...

I fully agree.
One of the most underrated gypsy-swing guitar players.
As far as the "Nomades" album is concerned -sorry- I don't have it in my collection :(
Hope to see you back here soon.
Stay tuned!

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