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Saga Gitane John Jorgenson "Tuxedo" Guitar

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Saga Gitane John Jorgenson Tuxedo Guitar

Session musician, solo artist and guitar cult-hero John Jorgenson has a signature ax for every facet of his playing: a Takamine acoustic for countrified strumming, a Custom Fender Telecaster for the fleet-fingered chicken-pickin’ he performs with the Hellecasters, and not one, not two, but three Selmer-style Gypsy-jazz-boxes by Saga Gitane. This latest model is called the “Tuxedo,” and it’s essentially a slightly modified version of Jorgenson’s Gitane model DG-300 finished in black-a dream finish of sorts for Jorgenson, who, according to Gitane’s Web site, saw a photo of a black Selmer-style guitar from the 1950s and just had to have it (or something like it).

With Django-mania in a perpetual state of renaissance-Gypsy jazz is a global, historical phenomenon rather than merely a fad or even period music-Gitane found a need and filled it several years ago: As reported in The Music Trades [Oct. ’06], there were plenty of Gypsy-jazz guitarists emerging but no affordable Hot Club-worthy axes around. The Holy Grail-like prospect of finding an original Selmer was always looming, but that’s sort of like telling a player he or she needs to recover an original Segovia just to play “Bouree.” Perhaps most important, Gitane manufactured these quality instruments in China, a move that, while turning off collectors, kept production costs down and the guitar in the reasonable $900-$1,400 price range.

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