One of swing's great innovators of the 1930s and 1940s, the Belgian-born acoustic guitarist Django Reinhardt pioneered the style that came to be called European gypsy jazz -- and along the way had a major ally in Parisian violinist Stephane Grappelli. Reinhardt died in France in 1953, but his influence remained long after his death. Anyone who doubts that Reinhardt's music has withstood the test of time need only listen to Gypsy Swing, a collection of Reinhardt-minded gypsy jazz that was recorded in Europe from 1994-1999 (more than 40 years after the guitarist's demise). The improvisers on this CD come from different parts of Europe: While guitarist Jimmy Rosenberg (a member of the group Sinti) grew up in the Netherlands and the Hot Club de Norvège is a Norwegian group, the Robin Nolan Trio was formed in London before relocating to Amsterdam. Reinhardt's compositions don't dominate the CD -- in fact, only about one-fourth of Gypsy Swing is devoted to performances of songs that he wrote. Nonetheless, Reinhardt's influence is present throughout this enjoyable, if derivative, collection.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson