When you think about Jazz manouche (from the French term meaning “gypsy”), also known as Gypsy jazz, a genre rooted in the 1930’s-40’s recordings of guitarist Django Reinhardt and typically featuring guitar-centric swing tunes, you will inevitably associate it with a guitar next to a violin.
The famous swinging ride of the jazz drum has no use here. The drum is replaced by the percussive rhythm guitar.
A very important thing in Gypsy Jazz is therefore the guitar sound and this is in turn associated to the sound of the original Selmer Maccaferri guitar.
This kind of guitar gets still produced by a few luthiers all-over the world.
The sound of the Gypsy Guitar is so typical, that it is almost impossible, to play Gypsy Jazz with a ordinary Western style guitar to get the authentic sound.
This is the guitar popularised by Django Reinhardt around the world.
Maurice Dupont is a french luthier based in Cognac. In 1986, Maurice made the first copy of the Selmer-Maccaferri type of guitar at the request of Lucien Viollet, a gypsy guitarist with the band Romano Swing. These Gypsy guitars have since become the leading product of his workshop, representing about 50 per cent of guitar sales. This international renown has been built up thanks to the confidence of artists like Raphael Fays, Biréli Lagrène, Marc Fosset, as well as Romane with whom Maurice has begun an even closer collaboration.
This guitar was owned and used by french guitarist, Michaal Benjelloun. He got this guitar from Thomas Dutronc who used it in the Gipsy project of Biréli Lagrene. Michaal used the guitar on all his concert dates of the group Caïna as well as on their recordings and other studio work (film music and publicity, …). This guitar is supposed to be played seated. As Michaal played it standing this did't look cool; so he put the Betty Page sticker on it to make the guitar look a little bit more Rock 'n' Roll. The guitar can be seen in the following video clips of concerts of Caïna: