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Django Reinhardt

Django Reinhardt was the first hugely influential jazz figure to emerge from Europe -- and he remains the most influential European to this day, with possible competition from Joe Zawinul, George Shearing, John McLaughlin, his old cohort Stephane Grappelli and a bare handful of others. A free-spirited gypsy, Reinhardt wasn't the most reliable person in the world, frequently wandering off into the countryside on a whim. Yet Reinhardt came up with a unique way of propelling the humble acoustic guitar into the front line of a jazz combo in the days before amplification became widespread. He would spin joyous, arcing, marvelously inflected solos above the thrumming base of two rhythm guitars and a bass, with Grappelli's elegantly gliding violin serving as the perfect foil. His harmonic concepts were startling for their time -- making a direct impression upon Charlie Christian and Les Paul, among others -- and he was an energizing rhythm guitarist behind Grappelli, pushing their groups into a higher gear. Not only did Reinhardt put his stamp upon jazz, his string band music also had an impact upon the parallel development of Western swing, which eventually fed into the wellspring of what is now called country music. Although he could not read music, with Grappelli and on his own, Reinhardt composed several winsome, highly original tunes like "Daphne," "Nuages" and "Manoir de Mes Reves," as well as mad swingers like "Minor Swing" and the ode to his record label of the '30s, "Stomping at Decca." As the late Ralph Gleason said about Django's recordings, "They were European and they were French and they were still jazz."

A violinist first and a guitarist later, Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt grew up in a gypsy camp near Paris where he absorbed the gypsy strain into his music. A disastrous caravan fire in 1928 badly burned his left hand, depriving him of the use of the fourth and fifth fingers, but the resourceful Reinhardt figured out a novel fingering system to get around the problem that probably accounts for some of the originality of his style. According to one story, during his recovery period, Reinhardt was introduced to American jazz when he found a 78 RPM disc of Louis Armstrong's "Dallas Blues" at an Orleans flea market. He then resumed his career playing in Parisian cafes until one day in 1934 when Hot Club chief Pierre Nourry proposed the idea of an all-string band to Reinhardt and Grappelli. Thus was born the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, which quickly became an international draw thanks to a long, splendid series of Ultraphone, Decca and HMV recordings.

The outbreak of war in 1939 broke up the Quintette, with Grappelli remaining in London where the group was playing and Reinhardt returning to France. During the war years, he led a big band, another quintet with clarinetist Hubert Rostaing in place of Grappelli, and after the liberation of Paris, recorded with such visiting American jazzmen as Mel Powell, Peanuts Hucko and Ray McKinley. In 1946, Reinhardt took up the electric guitar and toured America as a soloist with the Duke Ellington band but his appearances were poorly received. Some of his recordings on electric guitar late in his life are bop escapades where his playing sounds frantic and jagged, a world apart from the jubilant swing of old. However, starting in Jan. 1946, Reinhardt and Grappelli held several sporadic reunions where the bop influences are more subtly integrated into the old, still-fizzing swing format. In the 1950s, Reinhardt became more reclusive, remaining in Europe, playing and recording now and then until his death from a stroke in 1953. His Hot Club recordings from the `30s are his most irresistible legacy; their spirit and sound can be felt in current groups like Holland's Rosenberg Trio. ~ Richard S. Ginell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Integrale Vol.19a (1950-1952: Troublant Bolero)

x

Track List: Integrale Vol.16

Disc 1

1. Daphne

2. Manoir De Mes Reves

4. Crazy Rythm

6. Night And Day

7. Confessin'

8. Swing 42

9. Nuages

11. Oh, Lady Be Good

12. Festival 48

13. Fantaisie

14. Brick Top

15. Just For Fun

16. To Each His Own (Symphonie)

20. Festival 48

Disc 2

1. Moppin The Bride (Danse Nuptiale)

2. Bolero

3. Cadillac Slim

4. Nuages

6. Festival 48

7. Minor Swing

8. Symphonie

9. Over The Rainbow

10. Night And Day

11. Minor Blues

12. Nature Boy

13. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

14. Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir

15. Hallelujah

16. Nagasaki

17. I'll Never Be The Same

18. Swing 39

19. Clopin Clopant

20. Honeysuckle Rose

21. All The Things You Are

x

Track List: Integrale Vol.15a (1947: Gipsy With A Song)

Disc 1

1. Topsy

2. Moppin' The Bride (Micro)

3. Insensiblement

4. Mano

5. Blues Primitif

8. Artillerie Lourde

9. Peche A La Mouche

10. Belleville

11. Douce Ambiance

12. Swing De Paris

13. September Song

14. I Can't Give You Anything But Love

15. Blues En Mineur

16. It Had To Be You

17. Manoir De Mes Reves

18. Dinette

19. Melodie Au Crepuscule

20. Folie A Amphion

Disc 2

1. Place De Brouckere

2. Symphonie

3. Improvisation Sur Une Danse Norvegienne

4. Saint Louis Blues

7. What Is This Thing Called Love

8. Ol' Man River

9. Si Tu Savais

10. Eveline

12. Ol' Man River

13. R-Vingt Six

14. How High The Moon (Version 1)

15. Swing Guitars

16. I Love You

17. Tiger Rag

18. Tears

19. Dinah

20. Them There Eyes

21. How High The Moon (Version 2)

x

Track List: The Very Best Of

Disc 1

1. I Saw Stars

2. Dinah

3. Tiger Rag

4. Lady Be Good

5. I'm Confessin'

6. Blue Drag

7. Swanee River

8. Ultrafox

9. Avalon

10. Smoke Rings

11. I've Found A New Baby

12. St. Louis Blues

13. Djangology

14. Crazy Rhythm

15. Chasing Shadows

16. Time on My Hands

Disc 2

1. Honeysuckle Rose

2. Sweet Georgia Brown

3. Night And Day

4. It Had To Be You

5. The Man I Love

6. Blue Moon

7. Stardust

8. Moonglow

9. It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing

10. In The Still Of The Night

11. Ain't Misbehavin'

12. Charleston

13. Body And Soul

14. You're Driving Me Crazy

15. I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight

16. Solitude

x

Track List: Nuages

1. Nuages

2. Minor Swing

3. Swing Guitars

4. After You've Gone

5. Limehouse Blues

6. Georgia On My Mind

7. Nagasaki

8. Shine

9. Charleston

10. Exactly Like You

11. You're Driving Me Crazy

12. Ain't Misbehavin'

13. Rose Room

14. Chicago

15. Out Of Nowhere

16. Sweet Georgia Brown

17. Japanese Sandman

18. Farewell Blues

x

Track List: Django Reinhardt 1940-1941

1. Swing 41

3. Pour Vous

5. Vendredi 13

6. Liebesfreud

7. Mabel

8. Petits Mensonges

9. Les Yeux Noirs

10. Sweet Sue

11. Swing De Paris

12. Oiseaux Des Iles

13. All Of Me

14. Pour Terminer

15. Pour Commencer

16. Les Yeux Noirs

17. Begin The Beguine

18. Swingin' The Blues

19. Petite Lili

20. Ninouche

21. Festival Swing

22. Stockholm

23. La Cigale Et La Fourmi

x

Track List: Verve Jazz Masters 38

1. Nuages

2. Daphne

3. Souvenirs

4. Honeysuckle Rose

5. Please Be Kind

6. H.C.Q. Strut

8. Sweet Georgia Brown

9. The Man I Love

10. Belleville

11. Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)

12. Vous Et Moi

13. Djangology

14. Anniversary Song

15. Swing 48

16. Night And Day

x

Track List: Djangology 49

1. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

2. Hallelujah

3. I'll Never Be The Same

4. Honeysuckle Rose

5. All The Things You Are

6. Djangology

7. Daphne

8. Beyond The Sea

9. Lover Man

10. Marie

11. Minor Swing

12. Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour?(Where Are You My Love?)

13. Swing 42

14. I Surrender, Dear

15. After You've Gone

16. I Got Rhythm

17. I Saw Stars

18. Heavy Artillery

19. It's Only A Paper Moon

20. Bricktop

x

Track List: On The Sunny Side Of The Street

1. On The Sunny Side Of The Street

2. I Can't Give You Anything But Love

3. Les Yeux Noirs

4. After You've Gone

5. Begin The Beguine

6. Brazil

7. Dinah

8. For Sentimental Reasons

9. Embraceable You

10. Honeysuckle Rose

11. Jeepers Creepers

12. Miss Annabelle Lee

13. Swing Guitars

14. The Continental

15. Tea For Two

16. All Of Me

17. I'll Never Smile Again

18. Avalon

19. Ton Doux Sourire

20. In A Sentimental Mood

21. Body And Soul

22. What Is This Thing Called Love

Comments

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saqib_jodi
Django is the king of cool :)
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Bioshock 2
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kpduty787
He was one of Willy Nelsons biggest and most admired guitaurists. Willy makes a lot of mention of his influenced on Willy's style of pickin. That is quite an endorsement! !!
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digitalmaest r o r i c h
Check out Joe Venuti too
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This makes me wanna jeez
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I'm probably the youngest person listening to this lol I'm 17 and I'm loving him.
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xmfrederique
Breathtaking and speechless!! !
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His slow stuff is my favorite.... Romantic as all get out.... 5 stars
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best guitarist ever. my favorite music too...
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mvdinkins
Amazingly sensuous. Delicious!
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So Gdamn great he makes me tear-up! Just impeccable talent!
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Django's playing influenced Jerry Garcia. Both musician's developed original styles due to disfiguremen t of their hands.
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Cool.
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Comme Django, il n'y a pas dse autres.
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cuffychamber l a i n
beyond soothing! like it
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Sounds like Bioshock...
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My ear discovered Django 35 or so years ago and I was floored by Stephane and then Joe Venuti....go t a violin and it's been a musical life since...stud i e d and am still studying and playing music...got a jazz violin gig tonight thanks to these guys ad powers yet to be explained.
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Listening to Souvenirs - guitar greatness. Beautiful playing throughout. Django was the man!
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jeremy, you're thinking of emmett ray, the fictional protagonist of woody allen's mockumentary sweet and lowdown
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Anybody remember the name of that other great jazz guitarist? He's one who idolized Django. He had a very brief career and only recorded something like 12 songs... all amazing. There's a movie about him that I also can't remember the name of. In the movie he would get drunk and shoot rats at the train track and he dated a mute girl
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lauralovesth e a r t s
I believe he is the Kwisatz Haderach
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Beautiful... He was the first jazz artist I listened to and now it's an addiction. So amazing!
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C'est formidable! Manifique! Le Jazz Hot!
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Listen this guy 3 fingers up at least for him.
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Two thumbs up, pure gold
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bobnox2
My father, a combat soldier in WWII, was in Paris in 1945 recouperatin g from wounds. An avid music lover, he would routinely sneek out of his hospital at night & hobble around the streets of Paris visiting the many clubs and cafes. When, as a young man, I thought I would demonstrate my erudition and introduce him to my new discovery, Django & the Hot Club, he said....Oh, yeah... I saw them in Paris. That three fingered sum'b**ch sure could play a guitar! Now, I can't listen to Django without th
Report as inappropriate
This is truly unique and full music , there's a story to be told in tones a must hear
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aruela2
Oh! to have lived in that era; the era of true good music. No artist of today can even come close to the music of Django, Grappelli, Paul, the Goodmans, etc. Today's musicians can only wish they were as good.
DJANGO, TRULY THE GREATEST JAZZ OFFICIANADO OF ALL TIME
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I really do have a love for french style jazz thanks to Django Reinhardt.
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THEE Master!!!!!!
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Guitar bliss!
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Django was just brilliant on the guitar. I've often wondered how much more he could have given had he full use of his hand. Of course I then realize it doesn't matter - the greatest power of his music lies not in his technique (staggering) but in his soul. That is what ultimately drives the greatest music & musicians and is what touches us. It is what unites the greats - Django, Jimi, Pops, Bird, etc.
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robert.kesik
Great song, I remeber it from a game Mafia. It was usually playing thru the game when driving around the city :>
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kevinalinley
Beautiful Bio. Who can say they know a gypsy nowadays? Sounds like a party to me!!!!
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his music reminds of of some old cartoons :)
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guyt20
Is it just me, or did this guy like to smoke? By the cover of two of his albums.....
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Over the years, many players have duplicated his style (and, possibly, even surpassed it). But, there are indescribabl e elements to Django's playing that, in my humble opinion, place him in an otherworldly catagory (much the same feeling I get when listening to Jimi Hendrix). I concur with cdexrun8: how amazing it would've been to see him play live - Django lives!
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cclnptl
stephane wrembel, definitely worth a listen to
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cdexrun8
His music has been an inspiration to me. I only wish I been born 40 years earlier so I could have him and Stephan play together live..
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Reinhardt was Sinti-Romani , and using a racist term like free-spirite d gypsy to describe a person's ethnicity is absurd, and promotes romantic and pejorative stereotypes about the Romani people. Romanies are still discriminate d against on a global scale, and respectfully (and accurarely) describing our ethnicity helps to educate people about who Romanies really are-- people.
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luis.manolsa n
Hear Les Paul Comment...

http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = M - q W g N g W D e 4 & l i s t = F L W l N L O C e g Z w k Q L T I h J v - I X A & i n d e x = 3 & f e a t u r e = p l p p _ v i d e o
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There's a biography on him that came out a few years ago. Excellent read - his life is wilder than any fictionalize d account could possibly be and his life would make one hell of a movie (hint hint).
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karlahellerm a n n
if you like Django, must check out Lulo www.lulo-rei n h a r d t - p r o j e c t . d e
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geomaura
Django played banjo before guitar...the r e are numerous recordings of it.
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Not bad for a guy with a couple of fingers missing !!! Love Django.
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jimbonk3
my table. I requested a Djanjo/Grapp e l l i favorite and the music group grinned from ear to ear. The whole place lite up like a Christmas Tree from that moment on. Loved it. My wife tried to kill me. I still love her at times.
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jimbonk3
About 12 years ago I was part of a VERY formal banquet in France and there was a string quintent playing very somber semi-classic a l music on stage prior to our dinner. The Prime=minist e r of Great Britian was the guest speaker. The group took a short break during our salad serving but soon came back for more. There were tables for eight in the room amounting to 300 people. The music group then started at the head table asking for requests. The same style of music played on till they got to m
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Plus 1 for the Hot Club of Detroit. As a resident I have een them probably 20 times AS they tour the globe You should see them!
chuckindetro i t
Report as inappropriate
NO! he was Influenced by Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti theWestern swing Players were then influenced by him,Django was moved later by Bird and Dizzy.
Report as inappropriate
If you like Reinhardt his influence is heard (and possibly styled after some) western swing guitar, including some classic chops (stylings) from Chet Atkins and before that the guitars of Bob Wills and theTexas Playboys.
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