Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The Swingin' Guitar Of Marcel Bianchi

Rating: 5.5/10
Sound Quality:
320 kb/s
Format: Mp3
Record Label: Djaz
Year Released: 2006
Album Covers: Included
Pass: radiodada
Links: rapidshare

About Marcel Bianchi
Marcel Bianchi was born in Marseille in 1911 to a Corsican family and like so many of the guitarists associated with the Quintette du Hot Club de France started playing at a very early age. By the time he was 7 years old, he was learning the mandolin and moved on to the guitar when he was 12. Although he did not have any formal tuition, he was soon playing locally in small groups and became known as "Le Mascotte". It was in the bars of Marseille that he first became interested in the Hawaiian guitar which he continued to play throughout his career.

In the mid-thirties he heard Django Reinhardt and immediately began copying his style of playing which may have prompted his to move to Paris in 1937. After attracting Charles Delaunay’s attention at an amateur jazz musician competition, he was offered a job as one of the rhythm guitarists with the Hot Club Quintet partly because Louis Vola thought he might bring some stability to the group. Bianchi recorded three times with the Quintet in April, 1937 and his rhythm playing with Baro Ferret elicits very different views as to its quality. It seems he used his Carbonnel at these sessions because although, like the rest of the Quintet's guitarists, he was contracted to use a Selmer in public, he actually preferred the Carbonnel.
Bianchi’s tenure with the Quintet was quite short since he wanted to make his mark as a soloist. He left in 1938 to begin a successful career as a free-lance guitarist playing with many of the famous Parisian jazz musicians of the day. During the War, he was conscripted, captured, escaped and finally fled to Switzerland where he began performing and recording with the Jerry Thomas Swingtette. He also obtained an electric guitar and was one of the first, if not the first, French guitarist to regularly play such an instrument. Once the War was over, he returned to Paris and began a very hectic and varied career which lasted until his retirement some forty years later.

In 1945, he formed his own Sextette for an engagement on the Champs-Elysee and began recording extensively, initially with Eddie Barclay and then with Vogue where he played his Hawaiian guitar. He also began travelling world-wide and became very popular in Eygpt; performing for King Farouk on several occasions. A successful tour of Italy and Corsica followed where he played classical guitar as part of the Tino Rossi ensembled. Upon his return to France, he joined the Jacques Helian orchesta and it was here that he met the singer Denise Varene with whom he formed a partnership which lasted throughout his career. In 1955, he and Varene left the band and began playing and recording together; travelling throughout the world to many countries including the USA and Japan. He also was engaged to play on the luxury liner "Rotterdam" for several years. During this period, Bianchi experimented with the then new technique of multi-tracking.

In the late 60's, he joined the Aimé Barelli band and stayed until 1972 when he rejoined Denise Varene to play regularly at the Carlton in Cannes. By 1988, they had both retired to Juan-les-Pins where he died on 23rd November, 1997.
Marcel Bianchi was the ultimate musical chameleon. One moment, he could sound very much like Django and the next he was Charlie Christian or a South Seas musician on his Hawaiian guitar.

Much of his later playing was in the "easy listening" mould, lightweight and nondescript but always executed with exceptional technical proficiency. This lack of an identifiable individual style, greatly reduces Bianchi's standing as a guitarist of true statue. However, his recordings in the late 30's and 40's playing in the Hot Club style show that as a soloist, he was very much the equal of other, more fêted rhythm guitarists from the Quintette du Hot Club de France. Like Django, Bianchi could not stand still musically. He was keen to embrace new ideas and, in doing so, compromised his posthumous status but created the most enduring and, no doubt, commercially successful career of all the Hot Club guitarists.


jose arboleda said...

Hola , ggracias el link está muerto, gracias.

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