Baro Ferret

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Pierre Joseph "Baro" Ferret (* 1908 in Rouen ; † 1978 ) was a French gypsy jazz - and musette - guitarist and composer .

Live and act

Baro Ferret, originally from Rouen, was the eldest of the three Ferret brothers, all of whom were known as guitarists in France and were trained by their uncles. He performed in local dance halls with his uncles at an early age and moved to Paris in 1931. There he soon became known as a banjo player and guitarist with the Bals Musette , first with the Italian accordionist Vétese Guérino, with whom he also recorded. Baro Ferret played the Valse Musette with swing articulation and improvised primarily with the stylistic device of breaking up chords ( arpeggio ). He anticipated parts of Django Reinhardt's style, with which he was also friends. Between 1935 and 1939 Ferret was a member of his Quintette du Hot Club de France and in 1940 he was also involved in his Django's Music project. He can be heard on about 80 Reinhardt recordings, such as " St. Louis Blues ", "I Found a New Baby" (1935), "Swing Guitars" (1936), " My Melancholy Baby " (1939) and most recently in March 1940 on "Daphne", "Tears" and " Limehouse Blues ".

Ferret recorded some tracks under his own name in 1938. In France, however, he was best known as a composer and performer of musette waltzes and accompanist for accordionists. One of his early Bal Musette compositions is "Swing-Valse", which he wrote with Gus Viseur . As here, Ferret also brought rhythmic structures in 3/4 and 6/8 meters into jazz in other compositions before Shorty Rogers , Horace Silver or Dave Brubeck did so . In 1946 he played with accordionist Jo Privat and his brother Sarane Ferret Panique and the demanding composition La Folle , which his nephews Boulou and Elios Ferré have reinterpreted. In 1948 he wrote more modern pieces influenced by bebop such as “L'inattendu” and “Le départ de Zorro”, which are also in Marcel Azzola's repertoire . From the 1950s he only appeared in public occasionally. His main occupation was changing bars ( Baro-Bar in Pigalle, La point d'interrogation in a Paris suburb, Barreaux Vert, La Lanterne at Port de Champerret) and was involved in criminal activities such as prostitution at the time, so that he was a total of 15 to Was imprisoned for 20 years. He recorded an album under his own name, Swing Valses d'Hier et Au'jourd'ui , which was produced by Charles Delaunay and was created at Delaunay's suggestion (new recordings of his lost bebop waltzes, which Django Reinhardt admired at the time) and on that too his brother Matelo and the organist Jean-Claude Pelletier can be heard. In 1971 he was involved in the recording of Gus Viseur's album Swing Accordeon .

Discographic notes

  • Swing Valse d'Hier et Au'jourd'ui (Hot Club Records, compilation, ed. 1996)
  • Les Fréres Ferret Les Gitanes de Paris 1938–1956 ( Frémeaux et Associés )

Web links


  1. ↑ In some cases, 1976 is also given as the year of death, cf. about
  2. Baro's brothers were Sarane (1912–1970) and Matelo Ferret (1918–1989).
  3. Michael Dregni Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing Oxford: Oxford University Press 2008; P. 151f.
  4. Michael Dregni Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing Oxford University Press 2008, pp. 99-101
  5. Dregni, Django Reinhardt, 2004, p. 272