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Play track. Artist images 17 more. Django Reinhardt , listeners Related Tags jazz swing gypsy jazz Jean "Django" Reinhardt 23 January - 16 May was a Belgian guitarist and composer credited with popularizing Gypsy jazz , as well as conceptualizing the style together with several other Gypsy musicians.
Reinhardt's nickname purportedly means "I Awake" in the Romani language, however it may also simply have been a diminutive, or local Walloon version, of "Jean". He severely injured two of the digits on his left hand as a youth, and changed his guitar playing style to adapt to his handicap. Jean "Django" Reinhardt 23 January - 16 May was a Belgian guitarist and composer credited with popularizing Gypsy jazz , as well as conceptualizing the style together w… read more. Jean "Django" Reinhardt 23 January - 16 May was a Belgian guitarist and composer credited with popularizing Gypsy jazz , as well as conceptualizing the style together with several other Gypsy musicians.
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Check out thousands of independent 5 star reviews about us We're always on the phone to answer questions and help with any orders, Monday through Saturday. We reply to emails in minutes and hours, not days. See the padlock symbol shown by most browsers when you checkout. On a few occasions he refused to get out of bed. Reinhardt developed a reputation among his band, fans, and managers as extremely unreliable.
He skipped sold-out concerts to "walk to the beach" or "smell the dew. In Rome in , Reinhardt recruited three Italian jazz players on bass, piano, and snare drum and recorded over 60 tunes in an Italian studio. He united with Grappelli, and used his acoustic Selmer-Maccaferri. The recording was issued for the first time in the late s. Back in Paris, in June , Reinhardt was invited to join an entourage to welcome the return of Benny Goodman.
He also attended a reception for Goodman, who, after the war ended, had asked Reinhardt to join him in the U. Goodman repeated his invitation and, out of politeness, Reinhardt accepted. However, Reinhardt later had second thoughts about what role he could play alongside Goodman, who was the "King of Swing", and remained in France. In , Reinhardt retired to Samois-sur-Seine , near Fontainebleau , where he lived until his death. He continued to play in Paris jazz clubs and began playing electric guitar.
He often used a Selmer fitted with an electric pickup, despite his initial hesitation about the instrument. In his final recordings, made with his Nouvelle Quintette in the last few months of his life, he had begun moving in a new musical direction, in which he assimilated the vocabulary of bebop and fused it with his own melodic style. On 16 May , while walking from the Gare de Fontainebleau—Avon Station after playing in a Paris club, he collapsed outside his house from a brain hemorrhage.
Reinhardt developed his initial musical approach via tutoring by relatives and exposure to other gypsy guitar players of the day, then playing the banjo-guitar alongside accordionists in the world of the Paris bal-musettes. He played mainly with a plectrum for maximum volume and attack particularly in the s-early 30s when amplification in venues was minimal or non-existent , although could also play fingerstyle on occasion, as evidenced by some recorded introductions and solos.
Following his accident in in which his left hand was severely burned and he lost most of the use of all except his first two fingers, he developed a completely new left hand technique and started performing on guitar accompanying popular singers of the day, before discovering jazz and presenting his new hybrid style of gypsy approach plus jazz to the outside world via the Quintette du Hot Club de France. Despite his left hand handicap, Reinhardt was able to recapture in modified form and then surpass his previous level of proficiency on the guitar by now his main instrument , not only as a lead instrumental voice but also as a driving and harmonically interesting rhythm player; his virtuosity, incorporating many gypsy-derived influences, was also matched with a superb sense of melodic invention as well as general musicality in terms of choice of notes, timing, dynamics, and utilizing the maximum tonal range from an instrument previously thought of by many critics as potentially limited in expression.
Playing completely by ear he could neither read nor write music , he roamed freely across the full range of the fretboard giving full flight to his musical imagination and could play with ease in any key. Guitarists, particularly in Britain and the United States, could scarcely believe what they heard on the records that the Quintette was making; guitarist, gypsy jazz enthusiast and educator Ian Cruickshank writes:.
It wasn't until , and the Quintet's first tour of England, that guitarists [in the U. His hugely innovative technique included, on a grand scale, such unheard of devices as melodies played in octaves, tremolo chords with shifting notes that sounded like whole horn sections, a complete array of natural and artificial harmonics, highly charged dissonances, super-fast chromatic runs from the open bass strings to the highest notes on the 1st string, an unbelievably flexible and driving right-hand, two and three octave arpeggios, advanced and unconventional chords and a use of the flattened fifth that predated be-bop by a decade.
Add to all this Django's staggering harmonic and melodic concept, huge sound, pulsating swing, sense of humour and sheer speed of execution, and it is little wonder that guitar players were knocked sideways upon their first encounter with this full-blown genius. Because of his damaged left hand, Reinhardt had to extensively modify both his chordal and melodic approach. For chords he developed a novel system based largely around 3-note chords, each of which could serve as the equivalent of several conventional chords in different inversions; for the treble notes he could employ his ring and little fingers to fret the relevant high strings even though he could not articulate these fingers independently, while in some chords he also employed his left hand thumb on the lowest string.
Within his rapid melodic runs he frequently incorporated arpeggios, which could be played using 2 notes per string played with his 2 "good" fingers while shifting up or down the fingerboard, as opposed to the more conventional "box" approach of moving across strings within a single fretboard position location.
He also produced some of his characteristic "effects" by moving a fixed shape such as a diminished chord rapidly up and down the fretboard, resulting in what one writer has called "intervallic cycling of melodic motifs and chords". First of all his instrumental technique is vastly superior to that of all other jazz guitarists. This technique permits him to play with an inconceivable velocity and makes his instrument completely versatile. Though his virtuosity is stupefying, it is no less so than his creative invention.
In his solos [ Django's ability to bend his guitar to the most fantastic audacities, combined with his expressive inflections and vibrato, is no less wonderful; one feels an extraordinary flame burning through every note. Reinhardt set new standards by an almost incredible and hitherto unthought-of technique His ideas have a freshness and spontaneity that are at once fascinating and alluring His relative association of experience, reinforced by a profound rational knowledge of his instrument; the guitar's possibilities and limitations; his love for music and the expression of it—all are a necessary adjunct to the means of expressing these emotions.
More recently, Django-style enthusiast John Jorgenson has been quoted as saying:. Django's guitar playing always has so much personality in it, and seems to contain such joy and feeling that it is infectious. He also pushes himself to the edge nearly all the time, and rides a wave of inspiration that sometimes gets dangerous.
Even the few times he does not quite make his ideas flow out flawlessly it is still so exciting that mistakes don't matter! Django's seemingly never-ending bag of licks, tricks and colors always keep the song interesting, and his intensity level is rarely met by any guitarist.
Django's technique was not only phenomenal, but it was personal and unique to him due to his handicap. It is very difficult to achieve the same tone, articulation and clarity using all 5 left hand fingers.
It is possible to get closer with only 2 fingers, but again is quite challenging. Probably the thing about this music that makes it always challenging and exciting to play is that Django raised the bar so high, that it is like chasing genius to get close to his level of playing.Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli* With The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France* Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli* With The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France* - The Ultimate Collection (2xCD, Comp, HHO) Not Now Music: NOT2CD UK: Sell This Version.