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Artist Profiles

Django at 100

By Published: January 23, 2010
Part of what makes Django at 100 so worthy of celebration is that Reinhardt and his music will never seem 100. It's the sound of the fresh and the exotic in itself, a timeless Parisian spring, a world that's pre-World War II and a world that, for all its own inequities and pain, stands apart, at once immediate and mysterious. Like the doomed European romance of Swing Kids, it's the sound of youth and innocence celebrating itself in a world that insists its hopefulness is impossible. As a Gypsy, Django was, above all, a wanderer and his music is itself a transport, a vibrant presence that can lift one's mood in seconds.

Biel Ballister, for one is confident of the style's durability: "I think that in the late '80s what was important was to keep the tradition alive and fully understand Django's technique and ways. Nowadays, that is secured. Thanks to the work of many players we know almost everything, so now the natural move is trying to go forward and keep the style fresh and alive. Django's 100th anniversary couldn't find his music in a better state!"

Selected Discography:

Django Reinhardt, Integrale, Vol. 1-7 (Fremeaux & Associes, 1928-38)

Django Reinhardt, The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France Swing/HMV Sessions (Swing/HMV-Mosaic, 1936-48)

Django Reinhardt, Memorial (Period-Empire Musicwerks, 1947)

Django Reinhardt, In Solitaire: Complete Recordings for Solo Guitar (Definitive, 1937-50)

Django Reinhardt, Django in Rome (RCA-JSP, 1949-50)

Django Reinhardt, Integrale, Vol. 18-20 (Fremeaux & Associes, 1950-53)

Photo Credit

Page 1, William P. Gottlieb

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