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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



Classic Recordings by Django’s Music and Quintet du Hot Club de France







  1. Daphne
  2. Limehouse Blues
  3. Tears
  4. At The Jimmy’s bar
  5. Rythme futur
  6. Blues
  7. Swing 41
  8. Nuages
  9. Pour Vous (Exactly Like You)
  10. Fantaisie sur une danse norvegienne
  11. Vendredi
  12. Liebsfreud
  13. Mabel
  14. Petits mensonges (Little White Lies)
  15. Les yeux noirs (Dark Eyes)
  16. Sweet Sue, Just you
  17. Swing de Paris
  18. Oiseaux des Iles
  19. All of Me
  20. Stockholm
  21. Festival Swing

When the outbreak of World War II occurred the Quintet du Hot Club de France were in London. Stephane Grappelli decided to stay in the UK, but his partner in leading the group, Django Reinhartdt decided to return to France. This did not turn out to be too good a move because within a few months France was under Nazi rule for four years!

It did not however stop Reinhardt from recording some very fine music. As Grappelli was virtually irreplaceable at the time, he chose as his partners either Hubert Rostaing or Alix Combelle and sometimes both of them. Each is a fine musician and an excellent foil for Reinhartdt very musical acoustic guitar playing. He was probably the best in the world at that time as the young Charlie Christian in the USA was only just getting started.

Quite a few of the tracks are Reinhardt originals, some were written in partnership with Grappelli, all are worthy of revisiting, but the haunting Nuages is for me the favourite. Some of the tracks feature a larger ensemble, but to my mind they are less successful than the Quintet, with the Clarinet replacing the Violin.

I must confess hat these tracks were unknown to me before hearing this record and NAXOS have done their customary job in noise reduction and sound enhancement.

At this time Paris was one of the top venues for jazz in the world and it produced many fine jazz musicians. No doubt the influx of many black American musicians who found the less racial attitude of Europeans towards them refreshing.

This is an album that I recommend, because it puts into place a piece of jazz history that is unknown to many and too good to be ignored.

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