Django Reinhardt

An Introduction to Django Reinhardt

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This introduction to mid-period, postwar Django Reinhardt features the jazz guitarist on electric guitar with clarinetist Gerard Leveque, rhythm guitarist Eugene Vees, bassist Emmanuel Soudieux, and drummer André Jourdan for the first seven tracks, then switches to a reunion set featuring Reinhardt with his old partner, violinist Stéphane Grappelli, for four cuts before presenting a 1949 reunion of Reinhardt and Grappelli backed by a piano/bass/drums rhythm section. The resulting album is certainly pleasant, but it clearly doesn't make the perfect introduction to Reinhardt, whose key playing with Grappelli took place a decade earlier. Still, things swing nicely here on tracks like "It Had to Be You," "Swing Guitar," the intriguing and haunting "Minor Blues," and "Swing 39." Good, but not essential.

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