During the LP era, Django Reinhardt's discography seemed substantial and pleasantly challenging; along came digital reproduction with the emergence of uncommon or previously undiscovered works, and now there are enough Reinhardt albums to confuse even the experienced connoisseur. Perhaps the best way to experience his legacy is to map his career with chronological precision, as several reissue labels have successfully done. If you just want to get a really nice taste of what this wonderful musician sounded like during his early maturity, Indigo's Swing 47 might just be the album for you. It consists of 24 selections recorded in Paris between April and November 1947 and originally issued on the Blue Star and Vogue labels. "Minor Blues" features a large band that has since been variously billed as Django's Music, Django Reinhardt et Son Quintette, and Django Reinhardt et Son Orchestre du Boeuf sur le Toit. "Minor Blues" and tracks two through five were originally intended for use in a motion picture soundtrack, but director Marcel Carne never finished the flick. It was during May of 1947 that Django began experimenting with an electrically amplified guitar. Modernity was in the air -- Hubert Rostaing's clarinet can be heard negotiating harmonically advanced bop structures with amazing facility. This highly satisfying compilation closes with five tunes recorded during an ORTF radio broadcast in November 1947, four of them in collaboration with Django's old chum, violinist Stéphane Grappelli. "Improvisation No. 5" is an unaccompanied guitar solo and should be savored while lying down with the eyes shut and the body completely relaxed.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf