Django Reinhardt & His American Friends - Crazy Rhythm
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This set is monumental in scope. While it's true that Django Reinhardt led only one American ensemble — Django and His American Swing Band in the late 1940s, he did, however, play and record with American musicians throughout his career beginning in 1934 — Bert Marshall sang with the Hot Club of France. For the first time in Europe, Definitive Classics from Spain has issued four CDs documenting Reinhardt's complete recording sessions with American musicians. The chronology covers his dates from 1934, as previously mentioned, through Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli's appearances with Coleman Hawkins in Michel Warlop's Orchestra in 1935, and Hawkins' All-Star Jam Band in 1937. Reinhardt's sides with Dicky Wells, Benny Carter, Eddie South, Bill Coleman, Rex Stewart, Larry Adler, Arthur Briggs, and many others, are spread out over this sprawling set. In all, there are 102 tracks in varying sound quality, from fair to excellent, and a booklet with a complete set of liner notes and sessionography. This is for the hardcore fan, it's true, but given its price and the sheer breadth and scope of its contents, this makes a very handsome addition to anybody's Django Reinhardt shelf.
Born: 23 January 1910 in Liberchies, Belgium
Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s