Django Reinhardt – Djangology (2010)

FrontCover1This session was the first post-war collaboration between Reinhardt and Grappelli. Recorded in Rome, Italy in January and February of 1949:

In 1949, guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli performed together for the first time since the outbreak of World War II put an end to the classic lineup of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, with the pair reuniting in an Italian recording studio and laying down a number of tunes with a solid local rhythm section. In 1961, 12 songs from those sessions were released in the United States by RCA Victor under the name Djangology (and with Grappelli’s name misspelled on the cover); this expanded CD reissue features 23 tunes recorded during Reinhardt and Grappelli’s Rome sessions.

Stylistically, this material doesn’t represent a dramatic departure from the material Reinhardt recorded in the 1930s (while he’d been experimenting with an electric guitar at the time, these are fully acoustic sessions), though there are glimmers of new ideas the great guitarist had picked up along the way, most notably a few bop-influenced solos. But Reinhardt’s trademark gypsy swing is still as effortlessly enthusiastic as ever, and his by-play with Grappelli is simply wonderful; the intuitive symmetry of their performances is a marvel, and it’s hard to imagine that these musicians had spent ten years apart, given the ease and finesse with which they work together. (Bassist Carlo Pecori and drummer Aurelio de Carolis support the soloists well without imposing their personalities too strongly on the arrangements, and pianist Gianni Safred’s free-spirited bounce meshes well with Reinhardt and Grappelli’s more adventurous swing.)

OriginalFrontCover

Original frontcover from 1961

While the recording quality isn’t perfect, it’s noticeably better than the duo’s earlier sessions, and the remastering for this collection brings out the details without taking the edges out of the sound. Djangology is a lovely set of late-era performances from Django Reinhardt, and if it isn’t an ideal collection of his work, it’s certainly better (and better presented) than most Reinhardt CD’s currently on the market, and stands as further proof of the guitarist’s casual genius. (by Mark Deming)

ReinhardtGrappelliPersonnel:
Aurelio De Carolis (drums)
Stephane Grappelli (violin)
Carlo Pecori (bass)
Django Reinhardt (guitar)
Gianni Safred (piano)

BookletBackCover1Tracklist:
01. I Saw Stars (Goodhart/Hoffman/Sigler) 3.30
02. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton) 3.00
03. Heavy Artillery (Artillerie Lourde) (Reinhardt) 3.40
04. Beyond the Sea (La Mer) (Lawrence/Trenet) 4.16
05. Minor Swing (Grappelli/Reinhardt) 2.37
06. Menilmontant (Trenet) 3.03
07. Brick Top (Grappelli/Reinhardt) 3.44
08. Swing Guitars (Grappelli/Reinhardt) 2.54
09. All the Things You Are (Hammerstein/Kern) 2.54
10. Daphne (Grappelli/Reinhardt) 2.26
11. It’s Only A Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) 2.51
12. Improvisation on Pathetique (Andante) (Tchaikovsky) 3.44
13. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (Lockhart/Seitz) 2.52
14. Djangology (Grappelli/Reinhardt) 2.46
15. Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour? (Where Are You, My Love?) (Stern) 3.22
16. Marie (Berlin) 2.54
17. I Surrender, Dear (Barris/Clifford) 3.45
18. Hallelujah (Grey/Robin/Youmans) 3.09
19. Swing ’42 (Reinhardt/Reisner) 2.26
20. I’ll Never Be the Same (Kahn/Malneck/Signorelli) 4.02
21. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf/Waller) 3.59
22. Lover Man (Davis/Ramirez/Sherman) 3.11
23. I Got Rhythm (Gershwin) 2.44

CD1*
**

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