1928 1931 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953

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30/1/53 - Django Reinhardt (el-g), Roger Guerin (tpt), Hubert Fol (as), Maurice Vander (p), Pierre Michelot (b), Pierre Lemarchand (d)
P 1616 Crazy Rhythm Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc 403222
P 1617 Anouman Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473
P 1618-2 D.R.Blues Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc 403222
P 1619-1 Fine And Dandy Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc 403222
1/2/53 - Paris - Django Reinhardt (el-g), Acc. by Tony Proteau et son Orchestre
  Time After Time Fremeaux FA 320, (LP La Roulotte MA-3)
  Blues Fremeaux FA 320, (LP La Roulotte MA-3)
Same date - Jam Session featuring Django Reinhardt (el-g)
  Fine And Dandy Fremeaux FA 320, Collectables CD 7139
10/3/53 - Paris - Django Reinhardt (el-g), Maurice Vander (p), Pierre Michelot(b), Jean-Louis Viale (d)
  Brazil Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  September Song Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  Confessin' Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  Manoir de mes Reves Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  Night and Day Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2, Verve 516 931-2
  Blues For Ike Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  Nuages Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2
  Insensiblement Fremeaux FA 320, Verve 835418-2

NB. The last eight titles were also issued on LP Columbia KC 31478 ( Django Reinhardt - Swing It Lightly - with Guitars Unlimited ). This was an album of Django recordings on which new backing arrangements had been overdubbed in 1968 by Guitars Unlimited, the French five guitar group, and rhythm section.
Some wise cats will probably be surprised by the release of a new recording by the French gypsy guitarist who passed away some twenty years ago and was buried in Fontainebleau, France, in May 1953. Unless you believe in ghosts, this requires some explanation.

In fact, this album must be considered as a delayed tribute by two admirers of the late guitarist and the mixture of genuine guitar solos recorded two months before he died, plus a new musical background recorded by the Guitars Unlimited, a French experimental guitar quintet featuring some of the best local instrumentalists who usually play band arrangements such as did the once famous Lambert-Hendricks-Ross vocal trio in America.

Purists might object and consider such an experience as iconoclastic. I personally would be pretty reluctant to admit such attempts which are open to the most disgraceful extravaganzas. But in this particular case how good or bad you will discover for yourself, the experience was worth trying, because those who have tried it were all Django's devotees who, at one time or another, were related to Django and because their final goal was to pay him a respectful and admiring tribute.

Thanks to this, the arrangements played by the Guitars Unlimited, recorded in 1968, never interfere with Reinhardt's solo work, and blend as well as if they all played together.

Although jazz music has known so many musical changes in the meantime, the fact that twenty years after his passing Django Reinhardt has gained such a stature in the world of music at least proves that he was ahead of his time and that he definitely belongs to the happy few whose achievements possess the originality and the depth which really make genuine artists. Django is now widely recognised as a true genius. This is not only because he played with an unequalled feeling and technical artistry-even among classical soloists-but also mainly because behind the guitarist there was the musician whose mind was thinking as a composer. His improvisations thus always sounded well shaped, carefully built and diversified melodically as well as harmonically.

When one knows that Django was unable to read or write music, one must admit that his was a natural gift received from mother nature.

Django was a gypsy, born in a caravan in Belgium on January 28, 1910. Being gypsies, his family travelled all over France, except during the winter months when they stopped on the outskirts of Paris. At twelve, he got his first banjo. Two years later, he was playing professionally in the foremost "bal musette" and was the talk of the town among musicians. But in November 1928, his caravan burned during his sleep and he was immediately sent to a hospital severely injured. The surgeon decided to cut off his left hand and leg, but his mother refused. It took him almost two years to recover, but the gypsy "medicine man" finally saved both limbs except for the use of the two smaller fingers of his left hand. In 1931, he was "discovered" playing at cafes on the French Riviera by local band leader Louis Vola who took him under his wing, and two years later, they were both playing in Paris' smartest clubs. The following year, Django Reinhardt as a leader, recorded the first sides of the Hot Club of France String Quintet, which were to win him international fame and reveal him to be the supremely gifted guitarist we know today.

This version of his theme song Nuages is probably his best. His playing fully shows his finesse and feeling. Even in his fastest guitar pyrotechnics, the accent is always given to the essential notes. It is worth listening carefully to his solos. You will notice that each note, receives special treatment, his personal touch: tender or aggressive, loose or vigorous, but each delicately carved with a short or wide vibrato.Listen to his solos of September Song, Brazil or Insensiblement. His guitar truly sings, almost as a human voice. By this I mean that he puts so much life, so much of his soul, into his playing, that you almost forget that the guitar is just an instrument.There is much gypsy feeling in Manoir de mes rÍves, a number he originally composed in 1943 on a libretto written by the French poet Jean Cocteau for a symphonic work.

Django does not play in Testament, an unnamed composition of his which the Guitars Unlimited recorded as a tribute to their master. It took them much time and patience to prepare and record these backgrounds. They deserve a lot of credit for the fine work they did and the chance they have given us to hear a new album played by the one and only Django Reinhardt.

Charles Delaunay

8/4/53 - Paris - Django Reinhardt (el-g), "Fats" Sadi Lallemand (vib), Martial Solal (p), Pierre Michelot (b), Pierre Lemarchand (d)
P 1723-1 Le Soir Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473
P 1724-1 Chez Moi Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc CD 403222
P 1725-1 I Cover The Waterfront Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc CD 403222
P 1726-1 Deccaphonie Fremeaux FA 320, DRG 8473, Musidisc CD 403222
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