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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000123.txt from 2004/12

From: "Shaw, Kenneth R." <>
Subj: [kl] Saxophones and Nazis
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 17:37:48 -0500

Regarding Sigurd Rasher's position under the Nazis, Kurt says:

>Saxophone----the Nazis used it a lot in propaganda programs beamed at the west. They also used it in their own popular music a great deal. A possible answer=3F<

There was a very interesting review by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker last week (issue of 12/06) of a biography of Django Reinhardt, Michael Dregni, "Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend." Gopnik says:

"When the war came, a myth came with it. It was said that Django, a Gypsy in fear for his life at a time when the Nazis were sending Gypsies to the death camps, lived a furtive, frightened life on the fringes of French society, occasionally emerging to cheer his fans by striking his guitar. (Grappelli had escaped to England.) It has even been said that Matisse's postwar "Jazz" cutouts were a tribute to the re=EBmergence of the Gypsy genius.

"As with so much else that touches on those tragic years, it isn't so, and what is so is much sadder. Dregni does a very good job of unpacking Goebbels's attitude toward jazz-that as Negro-American music it was debased but as dance music it was important to the war effort-and shows that Django played night after night in Paris, throughout the war, for an audience of cheering S.S. men and German soldiers. (Paris was kept open as a kind of night club for the troops. "Everybody once in Paris" was the promise held out to the Germans on the Western Front.)"

Curiouser and curiouser.

Ken Shaw

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