This compilation focuses on the early years of Django Reinhardt, primarily focusing on his work as a sideman and not necessarily in jazz bands. The oldest recordings feature Reinhardt on banjo-guitar and do not give him much to do aside from providing rhythm, though one can hear him improvising on guitar in some of the otherwise forgettable features for long obscure singers. Of more interest to jazz fans will be the two previous unreleased tracks ("I Saw Stars" and "I'm Confessin'") that showcase the Quintet of the Hot Club of France backing singer Bert Marshall. There is also a previously unissued alternate take of "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" with the guitarist accompanying trumpeter Bill Coleman, which may have been rejected because of slips by alto saxophonist Christian Wagner and tenor saxophonist Frank "Big Boy" Goudie. The recording quality is fairly good for such vintage material. But this collection will be of more interest to thorough collectors of Django Reinhardt, due to the preponderance of forgettable tracks.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden