Various Artists

Gypsy Jazz

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Proper Records presents a four-CD, 97-track anthology devoted to music recorded during the golden years of Gypsy jazz, from swing to bop to a bit of the cool (1934-1956). Happily, this tradition is still very much alive, and the recordings compiled herein demonstrate why even Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Eichmann, and Heinrich Himmler couldn't stamp it out. In addition to classic sides by famous or relatively well-known artists like guitarist Django Reinhardt, violinists Stéphane Grappelli, Michel Warlop, and Svend Asmussen and crooner Jean Sablon, this fascinating collection traces the intricacies of the Gypsy jazz movement throughout mainland Europe with rare recordings by members of the Reinhardt and Ferret families as well as accordionists Gus Viseur and Tony Murena, saxophonist Albert Ferreri, reedman and violinist Frans Poptie, and a veritable swarm of guitarists including Oscar Aleman, Jean Bonal, Eddy Christiani, Jean-Pierre Sasson, and Henri Crolla. Given this set's wealth of variegated material and its remarkably affordable price tag, Proper may well have come up with the world's best all-purpose, authentic Gypsy jazz collection. It more or less picks up where the Fremeaux & Associes 2005 release Django Reinhardt Complete, Vol. 20: Pour Que Ma Vie left off.

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