Pierre Ferret

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Pierre "Baro" Ferret
Genres Romani music, Gypsy jazz, Continental jazz, Jazz manouche
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1930s-1960s
Associated acts Django Reinhardt
Notable instruments
Guitar

Pierre Joseph Ferret (1908–1978) was a Gypsy jazz guitarist and composer.[1] He was known by his Gypsy nickname "Baro," which meant "Big One" or even "King" in Romany. Through his brother Jean "Matelo" Ferret, Baro met Jean "Django" Reinhardt, and the two became both friends and notorious rivals.[2] From 1931, the Ferret brothers, along with their third brother Etienne "Sarane" Ferret', and cousin René "Challain" Ferret, were favorite sidemen of Reinhardt. Baro recorded around 80 sides with the great guitarist. The Ferret brothers played with musicians including Didi Duprat.

Baro's immaculate guitar technique and improvisational style was at the same level as Reinhardt's, although he is said to have been frustrated at always being considered second-best. He retired as a full-time musician during World War II, and devoted himself to being a successful black market business man during the German occupation of Paris.

As a composer, Baro's "valses bebop" were years ahead of the times. His works such as "Panique...!," "La Folle" ("The Madwoman"), "Swing Valse" (written with Belgian/French button accordionist Gus Viseur), and "Le Depart de Zorro" were modernistic, surreal, and dark, part Musette, part modern jazz.[3]

Jean "Matelo" Ferret's sons Boulou and Elios Ferré continue to perform gypsy jazz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dregni, Michael (2008). Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing. Oxford University Press. pp. 146–161. ISBN 978-0-19-531192-1. 
  2. ^ Dregni, Michael (2004). Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend. Oxford University Press. pp. 41–46. ISBN 0-19-516752-X. 
  3. ^ Dregni, Michael (2008). Gypsy Jazz: In Search of Django Reinhardt and the Soul of Gypsy Swing. Oxford University Press. pp. 99–101. ISBN 978-0-19-531192-1. 

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