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Classic Years of Django Reinhardt, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Here is an impossible-to-find LP, an issue from French RCA's Black and White series of the mid-'60s. The great guitarist Django Reinhardt is heard on a dozen standards with a quintet that co-stars altoist Andre Ekyan. Although no longer as popular as he had been a decade earlier (bebop had largely overshadowed his recent accomplishments), Reinhardt is in superior form on these enjoyable performances.


Born: 23 January 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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