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Django Et Compagnie: Jazz In Paris

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This collection of 1930s recordings by the gifted gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt is an unusual one. On the first six tracks the capable violin of Michel Warlop is heard instead of Grappelli's and when Grappelli appears thereafter it's to assist in accompanying singers Nitta Rette, Andre Pasdoc, Yvonne Louis and Micheline Day on a further nine tracks. None of these singers has anything to do with jazz but they all nostalgically recall the sentimental innocence of pre-war popular French music. Django and Stephane are there as well, taking their chances to add their own distinctive touches when they can. Two final tracks introduce "Wal-Berg et son jazz francais", featuring such stars as Andre Ekyan and Alix Combelle. The original compiler of this collection was clearly aiming to provide a contrast with the numerous reissues of recordings by the Quintette of the Hot Club of France. This he or she certainly succeeded in doing and the results are perhaps of broader interest than much of Django's recorded music though clearly not aimed at those whose interest in the jazz fringes is limited. --Graham Colombé

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9db4d2c8) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0x9d899ac8) out of 5 stars Dajngo Submerged 22 Feb. 2013
By Jazzman - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wish I could feel as enthusiastic about this release as Mr. Ferguson, but I can't. Despite the fact that Django appears on most of the tracks on this CD, the disturbing reality is that he is virtually invisible on most of them being relegated to the role of rhythm guitar. He is never given a real opportunity to stretch out solos or add the kind of singularly exciting flashes of brilliance one normally expects to hear. Despite his growing acclaim with the QHCF, he is really given little to do, and in fact, doesn't even appear on several tracks. The title is therefore misleading and gives the impression that he is the main attraction - he isn't. There are some fine performances here, but if you want to hear great early Django, get the JSP box sets which cover the Paris and London recordings and offer superb remastering. The remastering here is pedestrian in comparison, yet the comparative rarity of the source documents certainly presented a challenge for the producers. Early on, Django in large group settings was swallowed up by either the miking or the lack of inventive arranging. He's there, but except for the smaller group recordings, he is subsumed by the compagnie. As mentioned by Mr. Ferguson, the vocals are often enchanting, but they don't tip the scale for me. Recommended only for completists who must have everything Django ever recorded. Otherwise, search elsewhere on JSP.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d8a5bd0) out of 5 stars Life is a cabaret 1 Feb. 2007
By James Ferguson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With some swinging rhythms and some great vocals from the era, this disc captures the Parisien interwar era with a number of live recordings ranging from 1935 to 1937. Stephane Grappelli joins Django on a number of the songs. Nitta Rette, Andre Pasdoc, Yvonne Lewis provide the vocals including a wonderful French rendition of Ain't Misbehavin'. You won't be disappointed.
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