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Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend Paperback – 1 Mar 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (1 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195304489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195304480
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 2 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"One of the most satisfying jazz biographies in recent years.... Dregni writes lyrically of a place where the crosscurrents of art, music and fashion collided to produce a cultural richness that happens only once or twice a century, if humans are lucky.... Rich and rewarding."—Baltimore Sun

"Extremely informative.... An important appreciation of an oft-forgotten musician.... Dregni carefully dissects Reinhardt's virtuoso playing style without resorting to technical jargon, and he spends plenty of time tending to Reinhardt's passionate soul—artistic, gypsy and otherwise."—Mitch Myers, DownBeat

"A rags-to-riches story of a unique talent whose works continue to touch aspiring guitarists of all genres."—Library Journal (starred review)

"A compelling portrait of this colorful musician, one that gives equal time to Reinhardt's fascinating story as well as ample musical analysis."—JazzTimes

"An encyclopedic account of the Gypsy jazzman's life and times that provides an abundance of new information, finds new connections between what was already known, and clears up many misconceptions along the way."—Guitar Player

"In many ways the book jazz enthusiasts have been waiting for.... Fascinating and well-written. Dregni's musical analysis will send fans running to the stereo, digging out the old recordings and listening with fresh ears. Guitarists will have a feast reading about Django's technique and his famous Selmer Maccaferri guitar. Although Django will always be a larger-than-life figure, Dregni has given us a much clearer picture of the man behind the myth. 'Django' is, for now, the definitive biography, and we are in Dregni's debt for considerably advancing our understanding of the remarkable Django Reinhardt, his music and the world he lived in."—David French, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Dregni's biography does his complex subject justice.... His immersion in the period's history enriches his storytelling and our understanding. The panoramic results present Django Reinhardt as he has never been seen.... Dregni clarifies a lot of history while weaving an illuminated web of contexts around his subject. He vividly describes Gypsy life and mores, and anti-Gypsy bigotry; unearths new aspects of Reinhardt's life and work; discusses Parisian musette, American 'hot' jazz and bebop, and classical music; and insightfully details the music Reinhardt made and the instruments and people he made it with."—Gene Santoro, The New York Times Book Review

"There was only one Django Reinhardt, and Dregni supplies a vivid, detailed portrait of the man behind the guitar.... Dregni has given us Reinhardt the man—rascal, scoundrel, transcendent improviser, failed human being."—Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle

"The great strength of his book is his tireless research into the world of Django's gypsy roots. He has tracked down and interviewed as many of Reinhardt's relatives as he can find, as well as older gypsies who knew and worked with him. The result is a more complete portrait of Reinhardt's inner life, including his relationships with his parents, his wife and many other women, and two sons. There is even a detailed account of the tragic fire that cost him two fingers.... Django is a remarkable book, and its outsider's perspective is part of the reason."—New York Sun

"In this carefully researched biography, rich with details from interviews with family members, friends and musicians, Dregni brings legendary Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt into the spotlight.... Dregni casts Django as a mercurial, charismatic Romany innocent, alternately transfixed by dajo life and dismissive of it. Colorful descriptions of the nightclubs of jazz-age Paris and sensitive appraisals of Django's musicianship add to the book's appeal."—Publishers Weekly

"The book is alive from beginning to end, and after awhile you feel like you were there as Django's career unfolds. Dregni insures that the story behind the music will not fade. Musicians, guitarists, students of the history of WWII, and those who love a good biography will love this book."—Frank Forte, Just Jazz Guitar

"Dregni...not only has managed to break into the French milieu of jazz aficionados and sects in which Django worked but has penetrated the Gypsy, or Romany, world from which Django emerged—a clannish world whose existence, well into the nineteen-fifties and sixties, was still largely furtive, outdoors, vagabond, and, occasionally, criminal. Dregni clears up the two much mystified areas of Django's life—what exactly he did during the Second World War, and what really happened on his one trip to America, in 1946—and he sorts through the music and, nice bonus, manages to suggest plots for at least three fine French movie musicals."—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

"Uncovers the influences that helped fuse Reinhardt's unique talent and background with a developing music scene that would eventually become a lasting art form."—Vintage Guitar Magazine

About the Author

Michael Dregni is a writer for Vintage Guitar magazine; his work has also appeared in , , and The Utne Reader, among other publications. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Looked a very interesting book, but bought as a present for a guitar enthusiast, I haven't had a feedback yet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christmas gift ; guitar playing recipient LOVED it !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. C. Bougie on 7 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cannot believe the paltry reviews of this great book, sure there's gonna be a few errors, but you try writing a biography on Django and see how far YOU get! It's miles better than the Charles Delaunay book, and places Django in context of his environment, as for the critiscisms of the laborious style of writing,CAN'T YOU READ?!!! I stormed through this tome like an express train!
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