Label: JSP Records - JSP953 • Format: 5x, CD Compilation, Remastered • Country: UK • Genre: Jazz • Style: Swing
Tom Cole. The word "genius" gets thrown around a lot in reference to artists and musicians — sometimes correctly, sometimes a little overzealously. But if it applies to anyone, it's Django Reinhardt. With no formal training, the Roma guitarist created a new style of music in the s and '40s that came to be dubbed "gypsy jazz. Saturday marks the centennial of Django Reinhardt's birth. Django Reinhardt would play any chance he got.
At the height of his fame, he'd stroll into a bistro with his guitar and busk — not for the spare change, but just to play. Pianist John Lewis led one of the most popular jazz groups of all time, the Modern Jazz Quartetand one of his most popular compositions is titled "Django. He and music were synonymous.
This man was literally playing himself into greatness. That's pretty much what Uptown Blues - Django Reinhardt - Django On The Radio (Transcribed Broadcasts From The Greatest Jazz who knew him says about Reinhardt. In a interview, the late bass player Pierre Michelot said, "He was loving to be with musicians — that was his life.
Reinhardt biographer Michael Dregni recalls interviewing another of the guitarist's bass players, Emmanuel Soudieux. Despite being turned down by one record label as too modern, the group became immensely popular. The obstacles Reinhardt overcame to get there are nothing short of astounding. He was born outside the town of Liberchies, Belgium, in a wooden trailer to a family of Roma — or gypsies, as they're commonly called.
As nomads, they were distrusted and persecuted wherever they went. Yet by the time he was 12, Reinhardt was drawing the admiration not only of the Uptown Blues - Django Reinhardt - Django On The Radio (Transcribed Broadcasts From The Greatest Jazz musicians whose songs he carefully memorized and emulated on banjo and guitar, but also of the non-Roma cabaret patrons. He made his first recordings as a teenage accompanist to accordion players.
And Django came into the caravan and he lit a candle, and this candle fell onto the floor. It hit these flowers, which burst into flames, and the whole caravan went up. His whole right side of his body was burned. His left hand, his fretting hand, was horribly burned in this fire.
Valkoinen Ruusu - Saija Tuupanen - On Onni Siinä while saving his pregnant wife, Django Reinhardt spent more than a year in and out of hospitals. No one thought he would play again. He had full use of only the index and middle fingers on his left hand. But the name Django means "I awake" in the Romany language, and he did. Through hours of painful practice, he came up with a new way of playing that allowed him to generate flurries of notes with those two fingers and his lightning-quick right hand.
Reinhardt's passion for music was almost matched by Paris in the s. Boulou Ferre, the son of Pierre Ferre, one of the rhythm guitarists in the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, was a child prodigy on the guitar, too. He says his father described a city bursting with talent. It's Paris before the war. But it was also the era of swing. The arrangements of Fletcher Henderson [and] Duke Ellington 's records brought a true revolution to France. This was the environment that gave birth to the Quintet.
Drawing inspiration from early American jazz, the group combined Reinhardt's intensity with violinist Stephane Grappelli 's liquid-silver tone to create its own genre. They were the toast of Paris and making a decent living when war broke out.
The group was on tour in London inand Grappelli decided to stay. The Roma musicians rushed back to their families. In spite of the Nazis' ethnic-cleansing campaign — more than a million Roma were exterminated along with five times that many Jews — Reinhardt and his band prospered. And to many of them, jazz was the popular music, and Django was the most famous jazz musician in Paris," Dregni says.
Inwith "La Marseillaise" banned, Reinhardt wrote a new anthem that struck a chord with listeners across France. The liberation brought many American jazz musicians to Paris. One was the late John Lewis. In a NPR interview, he remembered having to drag Reinhardt away from a Dizzy Gillespie show so the guitarist could make his own gig.
That desire to play jazz kept pushing Reinhardt. He tore through the hot jazz of the Quintet, Benny Goodman -inspired swing, and bebop. By the end of his life, he was experimenting with electric guitar. Reinhardt died on a warm spring day in After a morning spent engaged in one of his favorite pastimes — fishing — Django went to a cafe, where he collapsed from a stroke.
He was just He left the promise of what he might have done with that electric instrument and legions of younger guitarists who've spent hours trying to figure out his style, but have never quite captured his genius. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Don't Tell Me! NPR Shop. Django Too Shy - Various - The 80s Video Stars Years Of Hot Jazz The word "genius" gets thrown around a lot, but when it comes to music, Reinhardt deserves that mantle.
Music Interviews. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. January 22, PM The Thing - Sound Dimension - Jamaica Soul Shake Vol 1. Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday. Hear Django On Last.
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