Jazz attracted me because in it I found a formal perfection and instrumental precision that I admire in classical music, but which popular music doesn’t have.
Django Reinhardt was the first hugely influential jazz figure to emerge from Europe — and he remains the most influential European to this day…
~Richard S. Ginell (allmusic.com)
a tribute video from youtube – w/ video of our man:
another one – w/ some fantastic audio clips:
23 January 1910,
Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium
16 May 1953 (aged 43)
Jazz, Gypsy jazz, Romani music
Guitar, Electric guitar
Stéphane Grappelli, Quintette du Hot Club de France
Jean “Django” Reinhardt (French pronunciation: [dʒɑ̃ɡo ʁenɑʁt]; 23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer.
Reinhardt is often regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and regarded as the first important European jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the idiom. Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called ‘hot’ jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek as “one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz.” Reinhardt’s most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including “Minor Swing”, “Daphne”, “Belleville”, “Djangology”, “Swing ’42”, and “Nuages”.
Minor Swing – Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli:
Album of the day
Peche à la Mouche (1992) – recorded 1947-53
Legend has it that guitarist Django Reinhardt was at his absolute peak in the 1930s during his recordings with violinist Stephane Grappelli and that when he switched from acoustic to electric guitar after World War II, he lost a bit of his musical personality. Wrong on both counts. This double CD documents his Blue Star recordings of 1947 and 1953 and Reinhardt (on electric guitar) takes inventive boppish solos that put him at the top of the list of jazz guitarists who were active during the era.
~Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)