We had the privilege of interviewing Adrien Moignard and Tokyo Django Collective, a young local gypsy music group with whom Adrien has collaborated for the first time. Fumihiko Kono, a name not unfamiliar in Asia and a member of the Tokyo Django Collective, is also the music producer of the popular Japanese television series “The Solitary Gourmet” (Kodoku No Gourmet).
Adrien Moignard (AM)
Tokyo Django Collective (TDC): Fumihiko Kono (吉他)， Daisuke Teshima(吉他)，Kyohei Abe (貝斯)
AM: This is my third time in Japan. Also earlier this year, I was invited to the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival.
AM: If you want to listen to real gypsy music, of course you have to go to Paris. In the downtown area there are many different jazz venues where you can enjoy wonderful performances. And another thing that you can’t miss is the Festival Django Reinhardt which is held annually at the end of June at Samois-sur-Seine in France. The festival lasts for one week, and there are many jam sessions in which you can participate with all other gypsy jazz players. It’s the best gypsy jazz festival in the world.
AM: I think gypsy jazz is developing quite fast here in Japan, there are more and more gypsy jazz guitarists. And I hope that it will continue to be like this, getting better and better. This is my first time here for the Django Festival Tokyo which is a big, local gypsy jazz activity; and yes, also my first time cooperating with Tokyo Django Collective.
AD: I’ve been playing guitar since I was little, starting with blues and rock music. Gypsy jazz came to my knowledge later but since the time I listened to the albums of Django and Grappelli, I am in love with gypsy jazz. I dedicate myself to playing only gypsy jazz, and it became my career. I am self-taught. I lived in the South of France for the first twenty years of my life before moving to Paris where I spent a lot of time playing music with many gypsies. I really learned a lot. Besides Django, I have been inspired by many great musicians such as Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Keith Jarrett, etc. I also like classical music.
AM: Lately, I’ve been discussing with Stochelo Rosenberg some of the projects that we can work on together. I think it’s going to be very interesting. And, I just released my newest trio album with Mathieu Chatelain and Jérémie Arranger which is the recording of our performance at the Maison-Laffitte Jazz Festival in France. The world-famous violinist Didier Lockwood was our special guest, how cool is that?!
TDC: All three of us are gypsy jazz players mainly performing in Tokyo. The fact that we’ve all been playing gypsy jazz for twelve years happens to be another thing that we share in common. Fumihiko has been playing guitar for 20 years. Like Adrien, he used to like blues and rock music. It was all because of the movie “Swing”, directed by Tony Gatlif, that he saw maybe in 2002 or in 2003, and another movie “Sweet and Lowdown”, directed by Woody Allen, that he began to like the gypsy music.
TDC: Haha, you bet! Our guitarists are very nervous about this. This is out first time playing with Adrien. After this, we’ll perform together in Osaka. We will also move on to our next project which is to record our own album. Hopefully that can be released very soon.
TDC: Actually, there are plenty of people playing gypsy jazz in these two areas, for example in Kobe and Osaka. In Tokyo, there are some jazz pubs where you can listen to gypsy jazz music and even join the jam sessions. Among them, the most famous venue is called “Mash Records” in the Kagurazaka area in Tokyo.
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