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Django Reinhardt: The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France Swing/HMV Sessions 1936-1948

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Django Reinhardt remains a difficult figure to categorize. Unquestionably a genius of the guitar, and just as doubtlessly the first important European jazzman, it is still awkward to place him in a context that includes American jazz musicians. My favorite observation about Django was made by Kenny Burrell, who noted that his phenomenal virtuosity despite his mutilated left hand provides the ultimate proof that technique is a mental, not a physical, question.

This set gathers together all the recordings made under Reinhardt’s name and that of The Quintet of the Hot Club of France for HMV and the important Swing label. It features a lot of the great Reinhardt-Grappelli group, assorted odds and ends and the wartime quintet that formed after the violinist fled to England in 1939. Not included are the great Swing sessions that came out under the names of Coleman Hawkins, Eddie South and Bill Coleman, on which Django was a sideman. Also beyond the scope of the present collection are the important recordings made for Ultraphone and Decca.

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