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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
This is the Django Reinhardt who might have been, recorded only two months before his death from a stroke. With a French bop rhythm section in tow, he thoroughly adapts himself to the prevailing idiom while allowing himself plenty of gypsy-flavored runs and those unique harmonic turns of phrase. Reinhardt's sharp attacks, fast runs, vibrato, and bright tone on electric guitar delineate the links to Les Paul much more clearly than his acoustic guitar recordings do (explicitly so in one of Paul's famous vehicles, "Brazil"), and runs like those on "Confessin'" must have had an effect upon Chet Atkins. Clearly, Reinhardt would have been a leading, distinctive light of mainstream bop-grounded jazz had he lived and toured outside France. He could also play the blues convincingly on the cool, swinging, and droll "Blues for Ike" (for the newly inaugurated President Eisenhower?). Nevertheless, there is a strain of melancholy that runs through most of this collection, nowhere more so than in his heart-stopping closing rendition of his tune "Manoir de Mese Reves" (also known as "Django's Castle"); one could read a portent of impending mortality into this. Issued on 10" LPs in the 1950s, first on Mercury, then on Clef, mutilated in the '70s with overdubs by a group called Guitars Unlimited, and not issued on CD until the early '90s, these sessions have not been given their due among historians. But they are indispensable for a total understanding of his music. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 17, 2020 | Label Ouest

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Jazz - Released August 4, 2008 | Wagram Music

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Jazz - Released March 15, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Jazz - Released March 7, 1996 | Parlophone (France)

Tread cautiously when the title of an album starts off with the phrase "the best of." It's not that the music on the album will be lacking, but that the introductory phrase is so subjective, it should make a prospective of the album, at the minimum, a bit wary; it would be somewhat more honest to title such compilations "Some of the Best of..." In any event, this Blue Note album, compiled with the usual knowing liner notes of the eminent Dan Morgenstern, collects Reinhardt sessions from May 1936, when the clouds of World War II were starting to engulf Europe, to March 1948. A survey of Reinhardt's performances over these tumultuous 12 years is an opportunity to see how the great guitar player's style changed and evolved. And evolve it did, but never did it lose its foundation, which was swing. It is at least arguable that no guitar player, including the great Charlie Christian, was as adept in making that instrument move as did Reinhardt. Morgenstern also wisely included many of Reinhardt's compositions on this compilation, reminding us that he was more than a fair-to-middlin' tunesmith. The first cut, with the original Quintet of the Hot Club of France, one of several he shares with his longtime musical comrade-in-arms, Stephane Grappelli, is as infectious a rendition of this warhorse as has been captured on disc, the 1941 Benny Goodman Sextet and 1945 Benny Morton All Stars versions notwithstanding. Moving ahead to 1939, "I'll See You in My Dreams," is somewhat more pensive, but nonetheless Reinhardt still swings. Reinhardt also had the ability to expresses an immense sense of romanticism in his playing. Nowhere is his romantic streak broader as when he and clarinetist Hubert Rostaign put together a lovely version of Reinhardt's "Nuages." And he was a whiz at swinging the blues, as seen on "St. Louis Blues." On this tune, working above the rhythm guitar of Louis Gaste on W.C. Handy's blues psalm, he demonstrates the ability to put across a melody with an infectious toe-tapping rhythm. By the time the late 1940s arrive, Reinhardt is still swinging, as on "Django's Tiger" and "Lady Be Good." There are a couple of sessions of Reinhardt with an orchestra, and while these come off reasonably well, the guitarist was much more at ease in small groups, where he was less constrained. Not only was this the case with the quintet, but with such American jazzers as Rex Stewart and His Feetwarmers on "Montmartre" as well. On the last cut, "To Each His Own Symphony," he is reunited with Stephane Grappelli (this time on piano) in a pensive recapitulation of their off-and-on association. Whether this CD qualifies as The Best of Django Reinhardt is perhaps arguable. What isn't at issue is that the album is an excellent compilation of 18 cuts and 53 minutes of music by one of the most significant European apostles of and influences on American jazz. © Dave Nathan /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Legend has it that guitarist Django Reinhardt was at his absolute peak in the 1930s during his recordings with violinist Stephane Grappelli and that when he switched from acoustic to electric guitar after World War II, he lost a bit of his musical personality. Wrong on both counts. This double CD documents his Blue Star recordings of 1947 and 1953 and Reinhardt (on electric guitar) takes inventive boppish solos that put him at the top of the list of jazz guitarists who were active during the era. Most of the earlier tracks feature Reinhardt in the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with clarinetist Hubert Rostaing but the eight later selections in which he is backed by a standard rhythm section are most interesting. These well-recorded performances hint at what Django Reinhardt might have accomplished in the 1950s had he lived longer. Highly recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released December 6, 1956 | Legacy International

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Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Label Ouest

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Gypsy Jazz - Released July 5, 2002 | RCA Bluebird

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Jazz - Released April 13, 2020 | Nostalgic Melody Music Production

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Jazz - Released October 12, 2009 | Parlophone (France)

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Jazz - Released June 30, 2017 | Label Ouest

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Jazz - Released July 2, 1952 | Vintage Music

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Jazz - Released February 28, 2003 | Collective

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Jazz - Released May 24, 2001 | Parlophone (France)

The studio sessions within this CD were produced by Charles Delauney in Paris during the late '30s, when a number of prominent Americans were either passing through or temporarily taking up residence in Europe. Django Reinhardt was a relative newcomer to jazz, but quickly became a leading player on the continent, and is present on four very different sessions in this collection. A quartet led by cornetist Rex Stewart includes fellow Ellington veterans Barney Bigard on clarinet and bassist Billy Taylor, though the Americans and their gypsy guitarist eschew the Ellington songbook and find their own sound in a date dominated by originals written by Stewart or Taylor. Reinhardt is prominently featured as a soloist and proves himself in ensembles as well as backing others' solos. The only standard present is a swinging "I Know That You Know." The guitarist is part of Michel Warlop's orchestra with special guest Coleman Hawkins for a 1935 session, though the rather square arrangements haven't stood the test of time too well. The highlight of this date is "Star Dust," which includes Hawkins with only the rhythm section of Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli (on piano), and bassist Eugene d'Hellemmes. Reinhardt and Grappelli (again, exclusively on piano) are both present in an all-star ensemble led by Hawkins, which also features Benny Carter (on both alto sax and trumpet). Carter's swinging arrangements make these four tracks a joy to hear, though Reinhardt only solos on "Honeysuckle Rose." Although most of these selections have appeared regularly on a number of earlier CDs and LPs, this current collection is worth acquiring, especially for the small-group date led by Stewart. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released December 13, 2019 | Sunset Blvd. Records

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Jazz - Released November 27, 2009 | Parlophone (France)

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Jazz - Released October 1, 2010 | Master Classics Records

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Jazz - Released February 13, 1990 | RCA Bluebird

Recorded in Rome during the winter of 1949, this excellent collection builds on the earlier Djangology by adding some tracks that were recorded at that Italian session, but were for whatever reason originally omitted from the earlier record. The sound quality varies somewhat from song to song, but what comes through loud and clear is the utter genius of Django Reinhardt. The selections included on Djangology 49 are the last recorded examples of Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli playing together, and there is definitely a sort of competitive fire to their improvisations. Like Charlie Christian, Reinhardt always sounds like he is at least ten years ahead of his bandmates conceptually speaking. For example, his solo in "Honeysuckle Rose" is punctuated with dissonant intervals that recall some of Sonny Rollins' work. Reinhardt's solos always display an excellent sense of arrangement, with his statements building both logically and emotionally to their climax. Reinhardt also displays his phenomenal comping ability on this record, as he often overwhelms or otherwise makes unnecessary the rather pedestrian Italian rhythm section of piano, bass, and drums. Despite the fact that he only had two (maybe two and a half) usable fingers on his left hand, the amount of sound that he was able to generate is truly inspiring, not to mention the fluidity and effortlessness with which he was able to do it. The suspect sound quality of the recording aside (which is due more to tape degradation than to anything else), Djangology 49 captures one of the greatest jazz guitarists in history in some of his greatest performances. © Daniel Gioffre /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 24, 2000 | Dreyfus Jazz

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