Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Django Reinhardt: Django and His American Friends

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Assembled from Reinhardt’s immense discography, this three-disc set features most of his recorded collaborations with American musicians. Presented in chronological order and spanning from 1935 to 1945, the 57 performances reflect the stylistic changes during that period of not only swing in general, but also Reinhardt’s overall improvisational approach to the guitar.

Featured on half of the 16 tracks, Coleman Hawkins dominates the first disc, contributing expressive, seamless tenor choruses to a brisk reading of “Avalon,” an easy grooving “Honeysuckle Rose,” and a frantic “Crazy Rhythm,” which also includes Benny Carter on alto. Django plays with his typically eccentric Gypsy-inspired aplomb, and longtime partner Stephane Grappelli alternates between violin and piano. Other featured Yanks include trumpeter Bill Coleman and pianist Garnet Clark.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.