'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Swing 2010 and Fapy Lafertin Review

Resembling a group of old mafia dons taking time out from their usual routine of playing dominos under olive trees and planning family business, Swing 2010 brings ‘Gypsy Jazz’ to the Edinburgh Festival.

Despite the initially sleepy appearance of the group, there is some astonishingly accomplished guitar playing here. The genre has its roots with the Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt, who developed a unique blend of traditional gypsy music with American jazz music in the 1930s and 40s. It’s an undeniably catchy and uplifting style.
One piece offered by Swing 2010 was reputably played by that legendary tale of Edwardian stoicism and lunacy: the string quartet on board the Titanic. Had Frapy and company been playing in place of the quartet, an otherwise polite and orderly evacuation may have slid into a happily nonchalant soiree on the deck, where despite increasingly icy feeling making its way up the passengers legs, the dancing and revelry would have continued. 

This, of course, is one of the problems with sitting down to watch Django-inspired music; not that it’s on dry land instead of a sinking ship, but rather it is better suited to provide atmosphere and depth to social occasions. Indeed, despite the fantastic spectacle of Fapy effortlessly bounding across his guitar fret, this is music not best suited to careful study or sit-down-analysis. 

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