Vol. 4 of Naxos' superb-sounding Django Reinhardt project takes up the chronological thread from Vol. 3, working its way through the end of 1937 with some unusual departures in format. On the first seven tracks, the Quintette du Hot Club de France continues to barrel ahead in peak form, with Reinhardt pulling off a cheeky imitation of a train taking off and screeching to a halt in "Mystery Pacific." By tracks eight and nine, though, Reinhardt is seen in a far different light -- as a solo guitarist in stream-of-consciousness recitatives of strumming and single notes, "Improvisation" and "Parfum." Then Reinhardt's cohort in swing, Stephane Grappelli, joins him in a guitar/violin duet on "I've Found a New Baby," proving to be absolutely self-sufficient in that format (though Reinhardt does not solo). Reinhardt then leads a pair of trio sessions with rhythm guitar and bass, and the Quintette expands to a sextet on the irresistible title track and "Paramount Stomp," with Michel Warlop joining Grappelli on second violin. Warlop's tone is thinner in texture than that of the great Grappelli, but his playing is athletic enough to keep up. The most offbeat tracks of all are the pair of interpretations of the first movement of J.S. Bach's "Double Violin Concerto in D Minor." Here, Reinhardt and Grappelli team up with visiting American violinist Eddie South; their first attempt is fairly literal and a bit stiff, but the second begins to dig more into the swinging implications. In any case, these performances represent some of the earliest attempts to graft Bach, whose Baroque lines are just made for swing, into a jazz format. As before, the fat bottom end of these ancient recordings comes through fearlessly and powerfully in these Naxos transfers.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell