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DJANGO REINHARDT: The Chronological Classics 1940

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Tracklist 1940
01 - 0:00:00 Rosetta
02 - 0:02:26 Sugar
03 - 0:05:09 A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
04 - 0:07:49 Margie
05 - 0:10:05 Tears
06 - 0:12:55 Limehouse Blues
07 - 0:15:25 Daphné
08 - 0:18:18 At The Jimmy's Bar
09 - 0:21:13 Nuages
10 - 0:24:32 Rythme Futur
11 - 0:27:15 Begin The Beguine
12 - 0:30:11 Blues
13 - 0:33:22 Coucou
14 - 0:36:03 Indécision
15 - 0:39:09 Sérénade D'hiver
16 - 0:41:52 Le Sheik
17 - 0:44:13 Noël Blues
18 - 0:47:13 Margie
19 - 0:49:36 Bijou
20 - 0:52:02 Indécision
21 - 055:24 Oui, C'est Ça

DJANGO REINHARDT: The Chronological Classics 1940

Tenorist Alix Combelle was a regular member of Django Reinhardt's little band at "Jimmy's Bar" in Paris. After Alix moved on to the "Kit-Kat"-dub on the Champs-Elysees, Django replaced him with Hubert Rostaing, who had previously played with various bands in Algiers. The new Quintet with Rostaing on clarinet made its first recordings in October 1940.

Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt was born in Liverchies, Belgium, on January 23, 1910. Even as a child, he played violin, banjo and guitar. In the years following World War I, Django played with various bands in and around Paris. On November 2, 1928, his career seemed to have come to a premature end when his caravan went up in flames, seriously burning his left hand. After several operations and more than a year in hospital, he was able to play guitar again, although two fingers of his left hand remained permanently paralyzed. He continued working with today mostly forgotten musicians, but then began an association with singer Jean Sablon, who used him as accompanist on several recording-sessions. By now, he was enjoying increasing contacts with jazz and hot-dance musicians, and was beginning to record regularly with some of the best French bands, notably those led by Michel Warlop and Guy "Patrick" Paquinet. Django's fame grew rapidly as a result of the first sessions by the "Quintet Du Hot Club De France", and by the late thirties all visiting American jazz musicians were eagerly seeking the opportunity to record with him. His musical companion Stephane Grappelly spent the war years in England, whereas Django decided to remain in occupied France. Despite the persecution of gypsies, he was able to continue playing and recording. After the Liberation, he was still very much in favour with visiting American musicians, and in 1946 he even went to America to play with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. That same year also brought a joyful reunion with Grappelly. Django continued playing and recording, but gradually disappeared from the scene in the late forties. Django Reinhardt died in Samois, east of Paris, on May 16, 1953.

This volume of the recordings of Django Reinhardt, presented in chronological order, opens with a quartet session under Andre Ekyan's name. Ekyan confirms his reputation as the most versatile and skilled French altoist of the period, a stylist strongly influenced by Benny Carter. A real all-star band was in charge of the next five magnificent titles, among them Django's oft recorded "Daphne", which again receives innovative end swinging treatment. Reinhardt's working band of the days plays "At the Jimmy's Bar", a last opportunity to record for the Swing label before the German occupation of Paris in June 1940. After a more than six-month interruption in recording activities, in October Django introduced his new quartet with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet. One of Django's many new compositions, written for this session, proved later on to be his very finest: "Nuages". Singer Lyane (Josette) Dayde, about whom little is known, worked with the Quintet for two weeks at the "Normandie" cinema/night-club, but was then fired by the leader. Hubert Rostaing arranged the closing titles, recorded in the company of trumpeter Aime Barelli, soon to become one of the most influential French jazz musicians of the war years - along with the omnipresent Django Reinhardt, of course! To becontinued...

Anatol Schenker, May, 1995

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