Matelo Ferret

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Jean Pierre "Matelo" Ferret (born December 1, 1918 in Rouen ; † January 24, 1989 ) was a French gypsy jazz - and musette - guitarist and composer .

Live and act

Born in Rouen, Matelo Ferret was the youngest of the Ferret brothers. He first learned the violin, banjo and mandola and made his first appearance at the age of twelve. When he was thirteen he followed his brothers to Paris. He first played musette with Émile Vacher and Vétese Guérino before switching to guitar and accompanying Ionel Bajac. He then played Eastern European music with violinists such as Jean Gulesco and Yoska Nemeth. In 1931 Django Reinhardt , who lived in the same hotel in Montmartre , played with him and taught him his first jazz song, "Sugar" . In the jazz sector, Ferret was involved in recordings by Michel Warlop in 1935 and also appeared with Eddie South , Benny Carter , André Ekyan , Alix Combelle , Hubert Rostaing and Django Reinhardt; in the 1940s he was also involved in Reinhardt's recordings. In 1943 he founded his own sextet in the Benny Goodman style , but also played rhythm guitar in his brother Sarane's Quintette de Paris . In 1945 the Down Beat reported on him. As a solo guitarist, he adopted the harmonics of bebop in his phrasing very early on .

He played the electric guitar in the 1950s, but was only documented at two recording sessions. Charles Delaunay published a record in 1959 with Reinhardt's earliest compositions, which Ferret had kept and recorded. The double LP Tziganskaïa and other rare recordings with an independent fusion of gypsy jazz and Eastern European music is considered his masterpiece. For many years he also accompanied the musette accordionists Gus Viseur and Jo Privat , as well as the chansonniers Jean Ferrat and Robert Ripa. He also performed as a trio with his sons Boulou and Elios Ferré . He died of cancer and is buried in the Bagneux cemetery.

Discographic notes

  • Musique pour deux n ° 14. 1955
  • Matelot Ferret joue les inédits de Django Reinhardt 1959
  • Manouche game 1960
  • Tziganskaïa and other rare recordings . 1960–1978 (with Sarane Ferret and Boulou Ferré)
  • Marta . EP 1965
  • Sarane and Matelo Ferret Tribute to Django 1967
  • Les Fréres Ferret Les Gitanes de Paris 1938-1956 ( Frémeaux et Associés )


  • Michael Dregni Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing Oxford: Oxford University Press 2008, pp. 148ff., 164ff.

Web links


  1. Matelos brothers were the guitarists Baro (1908–1978) and Sarane Ferret (1912–1970).