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“Djelem Djelem” by Eyes Manouche
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WHY IT’S ON THE CD: Track 11 of Good Tunes for Two Bucks is our second instrumental. The first was “Water Music” by jazz funk band Spare Parts, and this one is a cover of a traditional gypsy anthem, arranged and performed by gypsy jazz band Eyes Manouche. This is yet another group I seek out for live shows as regularly as I can. Lucky for me (and anyone else), Eyes Manouche seeks out live shows as regularly as they can. They play Xippo Lounge on Tuesday nights, and can often be found at the Joynt, as well as the Morseland with their proxy band Ode. The band’s craft and energy makes for a wonderful night of music and dancing. Find ’em live as soon as you can — they’re not to be missed!
Eyes Manouche coverage from Jack M Silverstein
Writeup from February 3, 2010… EXCERPT:
The lovely accordion stylings make up a fifth of Eyes Manouche’s sound. Two guitars, a bass, and drums make up the rest. But those are just the parts. The whole is a ridiculously fun performance, a night of original music enjoyed equally by the laid-back conversation crowd pining for a soothing background, and front-and-center music lovers on the lookout for any opportunity to dance and clap. More than even their skills as musicians or their wonderful fusing of styles, it is their energy that makes this band such a delight.
You just played the first set of a two-set night. What is it that you enjoy most about playing with these guys?
I think a lot of it is because we’re friends, you know? We’ve been playing together now for like a year and a half, so we’re super comfortable with each other. The music we play — it’s just fun. We don’t have to think about it too much. We just have fun.
When you perfect a set, when you play a certain amount of songs and you play them with a lot of frequency, you get tight, you get relaxed, and then you are able to kind of reinterpret the music, depending on the night, the crowd, whatever. If it’s a crazy crowd, you get crazy. If it’s a chill crowd, you approach it differently. Once you know the music, you can put your own stamp on it every night. You can make it unique every night.
The Eyes Manouche recording of “Djelem Djelem” is featured in the following short film, an award-winning documentary short by filmmaker Ratko Momcilovic.