Serious Django fans will love this
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I gave a rating of five stars, I have to qualify that by saying up front that this recording is definitely not for everyone. In fact some people might hate it. If you're not already a Django Reinhardt fan, a much better place to start would be the wonderful 5-CD box set called "Django Reinhardt: The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order." Having gotten that out of the way, I would definitely recommend this "Rare Django" CD to serious Django fans. It truly does contain some rare and fascinating recordings not available anywhere else. For example there are several recordings of Django (starting at 18 years old) providing banjo backup to accordian players for the "musette" dance tunes that were popular in working-class dance halls in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Other cuts include the Andre Ekyan Orchestra with vocalist Jean Sablon (where Django and Stephane Grappelli first played together before forming the Quintet of the Hot Club of France), the QHCF's first recordings (which were unissued), and my personal favorite, called "Madmoiselle Adelelaine," which is actually pretty horrible by any objective standard. In his biography of Django, Charles Delaunay tells a story of how the newly-formed QHCF blew their first big chance in a major venue, backing up popular singer Jean Tranchant in an upscale Paris cabaret with an important producer from the U.S. present to see them, when Grappelli and Baro Ferret burst out laughing while listening to Tranchant sing, completely disrupting the show. It turns out that this "Rare Django" CD actually contains a recording of this singer (Tranchant, singing Madmoiselle Adelelaine) backed by Django and Grappelli, and when you hear it it's easy to picture the band biting their tongues trying not to laugh, and finally not being able to contain it any longer. For anyone who already has Django Reinhardt's later (and truly classic) recordings, and who would be interested in a fascinating glimpse at his beginnings as a musician, this CD is definitely worth buying."
Django Before the Hot Club...
Robert Perrey | Belmont, CA USA | 12/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Indispensible to get an idea of Django's development before he was totally infused by jazz. Caberet music, Django on guitar banjo! Perhaps it was the banjo that gave Django much of his musical line in later performances."