Jan 23: The late Django Reinhardt was born in 1910


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

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:

From Wikipedia

Birth name Jean Reinhardt
Born 23 January 1910,
Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium
Died 16 May 1953 (aged 43)
Fontainebleau, France
Genres Jazz, Gypsy jazz, Romani music
Occupations Guitarist, Composer
Instruments Guitar, Electric guitar
Years active 1928–1953
Associated acts Stéphane Grappelli, Quintette du Hot Club de France

Jean “Django” Reinhardt (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)

* From the comments section of last year’s post:
Just a small point about Django’s later recordings – it is true that he did some of his best work in his last sessions, he was endlessly inventive. However, he never switched to electric guitar as claimed in the quote above. He briefly played an arch-top which he got when he went to the States to play with Duke Ellington but these later recordings were all made with the same Selmer style acoustic guitar he used for his hot club sessions in the 1930s. The different sound came from the Stimer pick-up he started using in the studio.

Other January 23


  • Elvis Presley recorded Suspicious Minds in 1969.
    Check out our earlier post on the song: Suspicious Minds
    Elvis - suspicious minds
  • Station to Station is the tenth studio album by English musician David Bowie, released by RCA Records in 1976. Commonly regarded as one of his most significant works, Station to Station was the vehicle for Bowie’s last great character, The Thin White Duke. The album was recorded after he completed shooting Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, and the cover artwork featured a still from the movie. During the sessions Bowie was heavily dependent on drugs, especially cocaine, and recalls almost nothing of the production.
    Released 23 January 1976
    Recorded October–November 1975 at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles
    Genre Rock, funk, blue-eyed soul
    Length 38:08
    Label RCA
    Producer David Bowie, Harry Maslin

    David Bowie station-to-station

Check out this post: David Bowie – Station to Station (1976)

-Egil & Hallgeir