Django Reinhardt, Classic Early Recordings, Volume 2

Jason Verlinde

By Jason Verlinde

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The Gypsy jazz guitarist at his best.

A half a century after the fact, there are still world-class musicians desperately trying to figure out how to mimic the sounds Django Reinhardt pulled off in his heyday. These late '30s and '40s recordings feature Reinhardt in his prime, dashing through fiery arrangements of "St. Louis Blues," "Sunny Side of the Street," "Lady Be Good," and a slew of originals. Due to the war, his lineup varies a bit on these sessions but the music is consistently great. Though a myriad of players are trying to take gypsy jazz in new directions these days, for most of us, Django is the only performer who really matters. No other musician commands an entire genre of music the way Reinhardt does, and when you listen to these electrifying cuts, you immediately understand why.