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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

Jazz - Released August 4, 2008 | Wagram Music


Jazz - Released July 17, 2020 | Label Ouest


Jazz - Released March 15, 2011 | Legacy Recordings


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

Jazz - Released December 6, 1956 | Legacy International


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

Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Label Ouest


Gypsy Jazz - Released July 8, 2002 | RCA Bluebird


Jazz - Released February 28, 2003 | Collective


Folk/Americana - Released December 13, 2019 | Sunset Blvd. Records


Jazz - Released June 30, 2017 | Label Ouest


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


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


Jazz - Released October 1, 2010 | Master Classics Records


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


Latin America - Released January 9, 2020 | Play Music


Jazz - Released October 24, 2000 | Dreyfus Jazz


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