Django Reinhardt

Verve Jazz Masters 38

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This set, selected from representative portions of Reinhardt's impressive catalogue, offers a perfect introduction to the work of this phenomenal musician. JAZZ MASTERS plays like the world's most enjoyable textbook on swing guitar. The cuts here feature the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, solo work, duets, and pairings with the equally virtuosic Stephane Grappelli on violin. The interaction between Grapelli and Reinhardt on such tunes as "Daphne" and "Souvenirs" is a dazzling example of rhythmic fluidity.

Standards such as "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Night And Day," and "The Man I Love" alternate with superb Reinhardt originals like "Djangology" and "Swing 48." Reinhardt's music combines a clear, open-ended sound uncommon to early jazz with a powerful rhythmic intensity. His gypsy-flavored swing style-marked by flurried noodling in the high register, soulful stringbends, and looping melodic patterns (and all the more amazing since Reinhardt only had the use of two fingers)-transforms the guitar's fretboard into a field for acrobatics. This Verve collection of classic tracks by the guitar master is an excellent collection for fans and an essential purchase for the uninitiated.

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