Django Reinhardt

Djangologie 18

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Recorded just a few years before Django Reinhardt passed away, the 12 selections on Djangologie 18 find the Belgian guitarist in a variety of settings with and without old partner Stephane Grappelli. Having last played in 1939 when the original Quintette of the Hot Club of France disbanded because of the war, Reinhardt and Grappelli reformed the band in 1946 and played together sporadically until 1950. Kicking off this collection of material from 1949-1950 (part of EMI's 18-volume retrospective of the guitarist), Reinhardt and Grappelli dig into quintet versions of "I Can't Get Started" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and recapture some of the magic of their classic late '30s sides. Even more impressive is their duet on Reinhardt's melancholy "Manoir de Mas Rêves." Next, Reinhardt switches to electric guitar and introduces a new QHCF, featuring clarinetist and alto saxophonist André Ekyan as Grappelli's replacement. Mixing in fine originals like "Double Scotch" with some standards, the guitarist pulls off some engaging solos while Eykan impresses throughout; unfortunately, much of the buoyant swing of vintage QHCF sides is missing. Closing out the set in intimate and somewhat rambling fashion, Reinhardt goes solo on two of his finest numbers, "Nuages" and "Belleville." A fine disc that's probably best suited for staunch Reinhardt fans.