Noted instructor and instrumentalist Dix Bruce has two new book/CD sets for fans of the Hot Club of France sound, popularized by Django Rhinehart. They are titled Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm, with one for mandolin and another for guitar.
Each book has the basic melody for a dozen swing tunes (standard notation and tablature) along with chord diagrams and tips on playing in this style. The CDs present each song, first played slowly with a single guitar accompaniment, and then faster with a full band. The stereo image is split so that you can either isolate the melody instrument while first learning each song, or remove it to jam along as you become more comfortable with them.
Dix says that these packages are designed so that newcomers to the style can start developing an awareness and understanding of how gypsy jazz is structured, while experienced players might use them to jam along and work on improvisation.
Audio samples from both CDs are available on Dix’s site.
On another Dix Bruce book-related note… The guitar edition of the Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook, written with Bill Evans, is now available from Mel Bay. It contains over 200 popular and classic bluegrass songs with chords, melodies and lyrics – plus 2 CDs with Bill and Dix playing through each song.
We posted in some detail last month when the banjo edition was released.