This double album, initially released as two single CDs back in the first half of the 1990’s, were the first on the Lejazzetal label and are now almost thought of as collectable iconic recordings. Viewed by many as the best Gypsy jazz albums since the last recorded releases of Quintet of the Hot Club of France they were recorded with a single ribbon microphone from circa 1938 and featured without doubt the most famous European Gypsy musician since the death of Django Reinhardt.
Features eight previously unreleased tracks and a 24 page booklet!!
Reviews from buyers:
this 2-CD set is just wonderful. Fapy's playing is truly great. Fluid, fresh and so full of Django's spirit that every nuance is there. The backing is flawless and crisp. On some of the tracks we can enjoy the clarinet playing of Bob Wilbert who played, for example, in the Benny Goodman orchestra. The recordings were made in a way that tried to emulate the sound and atmosphere of the original Hot Club recordings, so they were made in a live take and recorded using original 1930's microphones. The love that has gone into the making of this is evident. One high point is Songe d'Autumn - especially poignant when we learn that this was the song playing on the Titanic when it went down!
Lafertin is the Master.
This recording proofs his unique qualities, again.
Once you have met him you need this recording.
These are wonderful albums (there were 2 CDs originally) that stick closely to the rhythmic and melodic style of the 1930s Django Reinhardt / Stephane Grappelli recordings. Fapy is his own person, musically speaking, and by the time he recorded this he had been playing acoustic swing professionally for 25-30 years, so these are by no means note-for-note recreations. But there is nothing on these records that would seem out of place were you to be a listener in 1938 or so. I like the taught rhythm and concise soloing. These are recorded in mono with a period ribbon microphone, and as the liner notes explain, this was intentional and actually serves a purpose beyond nostalgia. The microphone emphasizes the mid-range of the sonic spectrum, which is where the driving rhythm guitar lives, in terms of frequencies. You can still hear the bass and treble frequencies, and if you are a fan of the original QHCF records, nothing will seem compromised. If, on the other hand, records from before 1950 (the era of 78 rpm records, in other words) are hard for you to listen to, try another Fapy Lafertin record like "Fine and Dandy,' which is just a well played, but recorded in modern high-fidelity sound.
The bonus tracks are a wonderful treat; sadly for this listener, "Swing Guitars" (CD 1) is missing two vocal numbers that appeared on the original CD, sung in French by Anabela Da Silva (mabye someone had a falling out? They were well-played and well-sung numbers).
Get these while you can; they were out of print for years and will probably not see another re-release on CD.
Great remaster of the Fapy
took a couple of listens to grow on me.
If you like Gypsy Jazz Django stuff you'll Love this.
I really love Fapy's Star Eyes also.
And so is every member of this group! There is so much wonderful music here. Every track is just impeccable- Gypsy (manouche) swing at it's best. Some is clearly Fapy playing Django note for note, but he truly does it justice- no small feat. They successfully capture some of that magic of the Quartet of the Hot Club of France- very natural and the recording even has a vintage quality to it, which I assume was intentional and probably has an interesting story behind it. But they bring much more to the table than Reinhardt/Grappelli reenactments! Fapy has that same beautiful combination of soul, artistry, good taste and dazzling technique the Django had. Django remains a giant in the eyes of so many, but those in the know are aware: there is no shortage of praise for Fapy Lafertin. Fapy is a known master in the Gypsy Jazz circuit, and I know at least one other personally who can't seem to stop playing this same album. I think the first version of "Je suis, seul ce soir" is worth the price of admission alone.
Beautifully done- I can't imagine any music lover not loving this one. Even more true for guitarists or violinists, but by no means does the listener need to also be musician to enjoy the feel-good nature of this exciting and beautiful string swing.