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Nuages Django Reinhardt et le Quintette du Hot Club de France
Hubert Rostaing (cl); Django Reinhardt (g solo); Joseph Reinhardt (g); Francis Luca (b); Pierre Fouad (dm); Josette Daydé (vo)

The first ever NUAGES! Perhaps not the immediate success that Django had hoped for, this version remained unnissued for many years. Rostaing was uneasy with the piece and it showed right from the slightly incongruous introduction which was taken just a little too fast when compared with all other subsequent versions. The ensemble settles down to a reasonable tempo and after a statement of this beautiful new melody by the clarinettist, Django plays a chorus which promises better things to come. The first ever NUAGES! Perhaps not the immediate success that Django had hoped for, this version remained unissued for many years. Rostaing was uneasy with the piece and it showed right from the slightly incongruous introduction which was taken just a little too fast when compared with all other subsequent versions. The ensemble settles down to a reasonable tempo and after a statement of this beautiful new melody by the clarinettist, Django plays a chorus which promises better things to come. The reason for this, the first version, being suppressed for so long (40 years?) is not immediately obvious and surely has little to do with Django's contribution, but probably is more to do with Rostaing's uneasiness with the whole thing and Django's wish for a more orchestral sound. The last chorus is the now familiar paraphrasing of the melody which proves that this composition came fully formed in 1940 and only improved with age - David Gould

1940 October 1 - Paris
Nuages Django Reinhardt et le Quintette du Hot Club de France
Hubert Rostaing (cl); Alix Combelle (cl, ts & chimes); Django Reinhardt (g solo); Joseph Reinhardt (g); Tony Rovira (b); Pierre Fouad (dm)

Django was not happy with his first attempt at NUAGES and when the quintet returned to the studios for another session he also called on Alix Combelle. In the Delauney biography of Django, Combelle recalls an original idea which emerged: "With a single clarinet Django couldn't get the effect he was after; it was the typical quintet sound. Now, with two clarinets he had the makings of an orchestra at his disposal and even succeeded in in giving the impression of a much larger group". On this session 14 tracks were recorded and on Nuages the presence of the two clarinets is only obvious on the introduction and the standard last chorus. The tempo was adjusted to a more reasonable pace and by the time Django begins his solo the feeling is that this is more successful. The guitar solo here begins with eight bars played in harmonics proving that Django was a guitarist ahead of his time. (It is a reminder that fifteen years after this recording Tal Farlow was to make extensive use of harmonics part of his vocabulary, albeit with the help of amplification). Django's solo continues with immaculate runs that always imply the the original melody through the chord changes. The last chorus is enhanced by the addition of the second clarinet and the feeling is that Django could now be satisfied that his new conception is a success after all. - David Gould

1940 December 13 - Swing, Paris
Nuages Django Reinhardt with Stan Brebders et son Grand Orchestre
Paul d’Hondt, George Clais, Raymond Chantrain (tp); Jean Damm, Sus Van Camp (tb); Louis Billen, Jo Magis (cl & as);
Jeff van Herswingels (ts); Arthur Saguet (cl,ts & bs); Jack Demany (ts & v);
Jean Douillez, Walter FÈron, Emile Deltour, Chas Dolne (v); John Ouwerx (p); Django Reinhardt (g solo); Jim Vanderjeught (g);
Arthur Peeters (b); Josse Aerts (dm); Stan Brenders (conducteur)

Two years later Django, always the innovator, went into the Studio Sobedi in Brussells with a large dance orchestra and his own arrangement of NUAGES. Gone is the introduction, which gave Rostaing and Co. so much grief, replaced by a more fitting intro by Django which sets the scene for an almost symphonic version of his famous melody. Accompanied by the rhythm section and violins Django weaves a tapestry of carefully selected runs, returning to base only rarely throughout the first chorus. The brass section takes over for a while and Django seems to take care not to try to play over the top. He returns for an amazing coda bringing the whole thing to a close. - David Gould

1942 May 8 - Rythme, Brussels

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