Fapy Lafertin – the most celebrated Gypsy guitarist of the last 30 years and widely recognised as the heir to Django Reinhardt’s crown. The much loved Manouche guitarist from Holland Fapy Lafertin, remembered worldwide as the lead guitarist with the Belgian band Waso, UK-based Quartet Lejazz, and countless other lineups.
Multi-instrumentalist Lafertin has a global reputation, and not just within the confines of Gypsy jazz. As one of the world’s leading acoustic musicians, composers, and arguably one of the greatest Gypsy guitarists he was responsible for the resurgence of the Django’s style amongst musicians and audience alike with his first band Waso in the 1970’s. After nearly fifty years of performing, his modesty, melodic sense, fiery technique, and clarity of articulation distinguish him from the plethora of other Django stylists.
With the British Quartet Lejazz, Lafertin released in the early 90’s arguably two of the most influential albums released in the style in modern times – historic recordings that are as majestic for their music as they are for their sound – and viewed by many as the definitive Gypsy jazz albums since the last recorded releases of Quintet of the Hot Club of France.
The venue was the Concorde Club in Eastleigh near Southampton, recently celebrating its 50th anniversary as a jazz club. The date was 5th October 1987. The hosts were a newly-formed, unknown Hot Club style quartet from the west of England called Quartet Le Jazz. The specially invited guest was the celebrated Manouche guitarist from Holland Fapy Lafertin, already established in the UK as the lead guitarist with the Belgian band Waso and at the time without doubt the most famous European Gypsy musician since the death of Django Reinhardt.
What followed was an artistic partnership lasting ten years, hundreds of appearances Europe-wide, a dedicated following of admirers from all over the globe, and an influence which in the early 1990’s took this little-performed but widely loved style of music from performances in clubs, pubs and wine bars to captivating concerts on stages throughout the UK and the continent of Europe.
Another further achievement of this musical relationship is the release of perhaps two of the most influential albums released in the style in modern times. Viewed by many as the best Gypsy jazz albums since the last recorded releases of Quintet of the Hot Club of France, they reinforced the quintet’s reputation and in some part continued the resurgence of the style amongst musicians and audience alike that was started by Waso in the 1970’s.
Initially released in the first half of the 1990’s, were the first on the Lejazzetal label and were to define the style of the record company ever since. It now has a worldwide reputation as one specialising in capturing the best ‘live studio’ performance from some of the world’s leading musicians.
Le jazz was formed in the west country of England in 1986.
FAPY LAFERTIN – Guitar
STEVE ELSWORTH – Violin
DAVE KELBIE – Guitar
PETE FINCH – Guitar
TONY BEVIR – Double Bass
BOB WILBUR USA
VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE USA
ETUDES TZIGANE FRANCE
GUITAR TECHNIQUE USA