Τετάρτη, 7 Μαρτίου 2012

The Swing Shoes - Ladies & Gents, Here's The Swing Shoes [2010]



The Swing Shoes were formed in Athens in 2006. Initially a street guitar duo, they evolved into a four-piece, with the standard swing quartet instrumentation: two guitars, bass and violin. Gypsy swing - or jazz manouche, as it is called in France, its birthplace - is a musical idiom that originated in the 1930’s and owes its
international popularity to Django Reinhardt, the man who single-handedly defined its style - even down to the way the chords are played on the guitar - due to an injury that left him unable to use two fingers in his left hand. The standard major or minor chords were replaced by major 6ths and minor 6ths, and modified chords.
Another particular element of jazz manouche is the distinctive rhythm guitar strumming technique known as la pompe (the pump), which gives a continuous rhythmic drive.
The Swing Shoes fully respect the rules of this folk idiom, while consciously omitting any kind of Hollywood glamour linked with swing. Their faces reflect the purity, the honesty and courage of their folk heroes: Django Reinhardt, Markos Vamvakaris, Karagiozis, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Manolis Hiotis, etc.
But although they faithfully adhere to the traditional gypsy swing conventions, the Swing Shoes are also part of a special breed of musicians that manage to sound innovative, due to their choice of seemingly unlikely cover tunes from the Greek popular and folk songbook, like Karagouna or Then Se Thelo Pia, which are
often re-interpreted in an unpredicted manner on the CD you are holding. If you happen to catch them live, you may find that sometimes the violin glissandos can swiftly transport you from a pre-war Paris street corner to contemporary Ikaria or Smirni. That’s how music stands on its own two feet, wears its shoes and moves on.



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