Many people these days have little to no knowledge of Django Reinhardt. Django Reinhardt was one of the greatest guitar plays in the Jazz-based pre-Rock and Roll era. Although he suffered a lifelong injury to his hands early on in life, meaning he could not use all of his fretting hands to play the guitar, he was an absolutely phenomenal guitarist and musician. If it were not for him, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath would also not be playing today as he also suffered a permanent hand injury that affected his playing as well. Nonetheless, this is the first in a very long line of compilations that showcase his historic music. Let’s take a listen to it, and hear how it sounds.
Griserie begins this compilation. It has a gorgeous accordion and some clanging guitar playing. It sounds joyous and upbeat and is a very nice piece of music. An old fashioned piece of music for sure, there is some fluttering wind instrumentation on this track as well. A lively and different piece of music, although the guitar on this piece is barely audible. Brilliant and interesting though, it sounds really cool. A nice and interesting listen.
Carinosa arrives next and is a more typical Django Reinhardt piece. Beginning with some awesome acoustic guitar, and some more accordion, this indeed sounds really legendary. An interesting piece of music that is still very much worth listening to today, it also has pretty violin and many glorious guitar fills by Django himself. Rather catchy as well, Louis Vola sings some excellent vocals on this piece. A really top listen, this sounds really great. A very good tune, and highly recommended and listenable.
Si j’aime Suzy follows and has a very upbeat section of Jazz-based music. Still, one can quite clearly hear Django’s guitars and excellent playing throughout. Another excellent and lovely sounding piece of music, this sounds really fine. The playing by all is a great effort, and this is less than three minutes long. The solos throughout by the different instruments are all excellent. A very retrospective piece of music that sounds fine and excellent.
Presentation Stomp is next and has some fluttering Jazz melodies, to begin with, before quickly launching into a great and excellent piece of uptempo music. This is youthful, vibrant and lively, and shows the impressive nature of Django Reinhardt’s music. The soloing throughout is amazing by Django himself. In the second half is a dramatic tempo change that sounds really great. A very nice addition to this compilation, the music on this album is very impressive. It is over before you know it, a nice little tune.
Blue Moon is a very trumpet driven piece from the start, followed quickly by slow guitars and a nice bunch of melodies played on the wind instruments in particular. A lively, upbeat and pretty tune, this really does sound quite good. It has some gorgeous saxophone enter, and we are in Jazz bliss. A really nice piece of music, this is one of the better and more memorable pieces by Django Reinhardt. A cool and different tune, this sounds totally enjoyable.
Avalon comes next, with synchronised trumpets and chugging guitars. It sounds pretty and unique in comparison to most pieces of music out there, with a quick, Jazzy feel to the music. It also sounds like something recorded that decades ago would have had a wide appeal, although not today. It sounds just like the sort of music to accompany a steam train journey. Django Reinhardt’s guitar solos are magnificent, and the whole piece sounds musical and magical. A brilliant effort by all.
What A Difference A Day Makes begins with a slushy horn section which is quite loud, before some nice and gentle acoustic guitars enter. A very pretty and different tune, this does sound gloriously amazing. A nice gentle stroll through the music of yesterday, this does sound really fine and expertly delivered. Despite the old fashioned nature of the music on this album, it sounds beautiful and terrific. Very pretty and lovely music, this has a bit of a twist towards the end. Overall, a very nice listen and something that is hugely valuable today. Highly recommended. It ends with some lone sax, nice work.
Stardust begins with some nice piano work, followed quickly by saxophone and precisely played acoustic guitar. A very good and decent piece of music, this sounds awesome and inspirational for those who ever wish to play the guitar. There is no excuse to not be musical, and Django Reinhardt is direct proof of that. The guitar solos throughout are very amazing, and this entire listen is very decent and brilliant. A nice effort by all, and definitely worth your time. Pure brilliance.
Rosetta begins with some upbeat and classic piano before this whole piece gets going wonderfully. It sounds upbeat and lively, and clarinet aplenty is here as well. This takes centre stage, followed by more piano and rhythmic, excellent guitar. A great piece of highly listenable music, this progresses along nicely, with some trumpet added in the mix as well. The instrumentation builds up towards the end, before finishing in an exciting way. Nice effort.
Stardust is a redo of the original song we heard earlier. It begins with jazzy piano, nicely played acoustic guitar and other melodies galore to grab your attention. A really cool piano-driven piece, soon enough pretty trumpet enters to add colour and dynamics to this piece. Nonetheless, an excellent and different musical listen that sounds great to this day. Very nice and breezy sounding tune here.
The Object Of My Affection is next, with piano, pretty trumpet and clarinet. Notably, Django’s guitar playing is in the background on this song as well. Shortly into it, some singing emerges which is a great addition to this song and it adds some clarity to the music. A very interesting and pretty tune, with particular emphasis on the excellent piano playing in the second half, this does sound really very good. Nice tune from start to finish.
I’se a Muggin’ follows, and has more lovely singing, with call-and-response singing for listening here. It is a very old school piece that sounds fantastic and lively, and it has some excellent fiddle and jazz-based instrumentation running in the background. Django Reinhardt’s guitar solo here is really amazing, and he does what he does very well. The music is interesting and varied, and just sounds super good. The singing resumes in the second half, and it finishes up very well with an interesting conclusion. Excellent music.
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love begins with some slow yet eventful guitar playing that sounds really awesome and excellent. Django Reinhardt plays some proto-Shred style lead guitar fills that sound really amazing and memorable. More singing is here, and this illuminates the music at hand here. It is a deeply romantic and interesting tune that sounds really fantastic and top, and this tune is a real winner. There is a fiddle solo in the second half, along with some chugging guitar playing that sounds great. A very straightforward, yet super pretty tune. Definitely worth hearing.
Oriental Shuffle does sound a lot like oriental music, primarily in the intro to the song. Regardless of it is designed to bring a cross-cultural awareness of oriental music or not, this is a really top way to conclude an album. It has some interesting melodies and sounds to boot, and the interaction between the instruments is really fantastic. Great music, and a nice way to conclude a really great compilation. Nice work by all. There is a key change towards the end before this reaches a good conclusion. Good work.
This is a great place to start to hear the work of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. If you are interested in jazz, guitar virtuosity or like what has been written here, do not delay in seeking this compilation out. Interestingly enough, this is the first of many different compilations that will be covered here over time, so this is a must-listen for all intents of musical history.
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