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Anthology 1934-1937

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Album Review

With a glut of compilations detailing the early years of Django Reinhardt, it can be hard to choose which might be the best collection. These sessions, recorded while Reinhardt was performing at the Hot Club de Paris, are considered by many to be the finest example of his work. It would be wonderful to find all of these sides gathered on one disc, yet it is unclear in the liner notes if this collection contains all or simply many of Reinhardt's original recordings. In either case, at 20 tracks, Anthology: 1934-1937 features good sound quality and a congenial mix of classic and lesser-known recordings. Also, Reinhardt's partner — and icon in his own right — violinist Stephane Grappelli, is of course heard on every track. All told, this is a superb place to start listening to this singular artist.


Born: January 23, 1910 in Liberchies, Belgium

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Django Reinhardt was the first hugely influential jazz figure to emerge from Europe -- and he remains the most influential European to this day, with possible competition from Joe Zawinul, George Shearing, John McLaughlin, his old cohort Stephane Grappelli and a bare handful of others. A free-spirited gypsy, Reinhardt wasn't the most reliable person in the world, frequently wandering off into the countryside on a whim. Yet Reinhardt came up with a unique way of propelling the humble acoustic guitar...
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