Release Date: 03/18/08
Django in America and with Americans
This box collects most of the broadcast and concert recordings Django Reinhardt made in his last eight years, except the Rome sessions, available on JSP919. Reunions with Stephane Grappelli alternate with tryouts on the electric guitar and bebop. The post-war Django has lost none of his touch - the 1946 Duke Ellington concert was, on the evidence here, of a high standard. Django also emerges as a composer of stature, with a string of contemplative masterpieces. From the moment the Americans entered Paris during WW2, he was sought out. Visiting stars vied to play with him. He broadcast and recorded with the Air Transport Command big band - much of one disc is made up of radio transcripts with them. After the euphoria of the Liberation, however, work for Django was intermittent. One theme, though, was constant - a fortune awaited him in the US. He agreed to visit the US with Duke Ellington. Django just caught the last available US-bound boat with no baggage, no guitar. He believed that American guitar makers would compete to supply him with an instrument. They didn't. Eve so, everywhere the band went he was greeted as a hero. That can be detected in these live recordings. Django has got hold of an electric guitar, and is as skilful on it as he ever was. Ellington fields little more than a rhythm section - no more needed when the Frenchman is flying like this. When America tired of him, he took a ship back to France. Django quickly settled back into Parisian life. The material here sees him several times reunited with Grapelli and performing with a variety of European musicians. By 1953, engagements were again sporadic. Django was unwilling to perform for less than he thought he was worth. He had been raised to survive on next to nothing, so idleness was not the hardship that many would have found it. A somewhat raucous Tony Proteau session isn't a bad place to leave him. He was in his element with decent musicians and an appreciative audience.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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