Langue disponible : anglaisWhile many think of the legacy of Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt as a quaint footnote to the kind of jazz that was played in the cafes of Paris during the 1930s and '40s, his legacy has lived on in players like Elios Ferré . Born in Paris in 1956, only three years after Reinhardt's death, Ferré had a close connection to his legacy: both his father, Pierre "Matelot" Ferret (1918-1989), and his uncle, Baro Ferret (1908-1976), played in the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with Reinhardt. "If you really want to play great music, music from the heart," Elios Ferré has said, "you must get your inspiration from the greats, such as Django." Ferré's brother, Boulou Ferré (b. 1951), also became a guitarist. Elios Ferré began studying the guitar at the age of six, and gave his first concert at 13. Despite his rich legacy, however, Ferré knew that he could never be a mere copy of Reinhardt. "It's better to listen to the original," he would later say, and added jokingly: "It doesn't mean anything to copy or imitate: You could be arrested for stealing." Eventually, he became enamored of flamenco guitar, and like his brother, studied first with his father and later at the Conservatoire National de Paris. While Ferré became temporarily influenced by Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced? in 1969, he still retained his roots. "Django Reinhardt is the greatest guitarist in the world," he noted. "I like all of the famous American and English guitarists, but my hero is Django, all of my life." Ferré also studied composition and harmony with Pierre Lantier, and recorded his first album for Barclay in 1970. In 1978 Ferré formed a duo with his brother, and the two would continue to perform together and record multiple albums over the next 30 years. While performing in Copenhagen in 1979, the brothers met Nils Winther, a producer for the Danish record label Steeplechase. This led to the release of Pour Django the same year, followed by many more releases including Relax & Enjoy (credited to the Boulou Ferre Quartet) and Gypsy Dreams. While both brothers favored small acoustic guitars (a Selmer) as used by their father in the Hot Club of France, both experimented with electric guitars on New York, New York. In their duo recordings, the brothers have distinct rolls, with Elios Ferré primarily playing rhythm and bass notes behind his brother's lead guitar work. Writing of the brothers, Mark Strutt has noted, "If you're extremely lucky and have a few bob to spare, you might catch them playing at one of the more exclusive restaurants in Paris, or to the petit bourgeoisie in the upmarket resort towns in the South of France." As with his brother, Elios Ferré has strived to find his own voice as a musician. "Django's music is good but it is also dangerous, because jazz is a living music and one cannot simply copy and recreate it but must step beyond it and make it new," Ferré has said. "To play jazz you must be playing your own music, your own feelings. So you must start with the history and develop it, like a torch handed on from Django to you." ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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