Later work by a jazz guitar legend
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 11/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "gypsy jazz" guitar style pioneered by the much-revered Django Reinhardt underpins many of the best musette recordings. This is some of his later work, made in 1947 and 1953, when Reinhardt was in a state of semi-retirement. He had also become fascinated with bebop, which was the universal jazz form at the time. Paradoxically, his interest in the pyrotechnics of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker led Reinhardt to play in a style which was less dynamic and more lyrical than his classic work from the '30s, and he became a more subtly expressive player. Like Louis Armstrong in his later years, Reinhardt was undeniably a master musician, playing with a richness and soulful depth that few musicians could hope to match. Sadly, he died of a brain hemmorage not long after the last of these recordings, in 1953. This 2-CD set is pretty swell... definitely worth checking out!"
Peche à la Mouche is Essential
Douglas MacRae | Toronto | 11/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This excellent set brings Django into the studio in Paris in 1947 and 1953 with Hubert Rostaing as his musical foil on clarinet, instead of Stephane Grappelli on most, but not all songs. (During World War Two Grappelli had stayed in England.) On tracks eight and nine of Disc Two, Rex Stewart replaces Rostaing on clarinet. These recordings are known as the Blue Star Sessions. The booklet has extensive notes including dates and musicians names for each song. The group is still a quintet on all but Minor Blues where Django has backing from eleven musicians. Django's brother Joseph plays rhythm guitar on just the first nine tracks of Disc One and the first seven of Disc Two. By the time of the 1953 session, on the last eight songs, we hear Django with only Maurice Vander on piano, Pierre Michelot on bass, and Jean-Louis Viale on drums. He was using an electric guitar by this time, not the Selmer acoustic with a soundhole-mounted pickup seen in some photos. The difference is astounding. He has mastered the instrument and we hear the influence that Parker and Dizzy have had on him. Here Django is the only soloist. September Song is a personal favourite. It's heard played on the acoustic on Disc One and then played on the electric on the second disc. Wow! Rostaing and Michelot both contribute to the notes."