Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend

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All of these would influence his mature style. As he recovered, he taught himself to play the guitar again using only two fully functioning fingers for fretting notes. His career really came into focus in when he and Grappelli formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

Likewise, when it came to getting the band onstage on time, signing contracts and taking care of business, it was the unflappable Grappelli who held things together.

It was not an easy job. Django was famous for disappearing on a whim, playing billiards on opening night or refusing to get out of bed no matter how much money was offered him. The unusual quintet -- three guitars, a violin and a bass -- would win international fame within a year of forming. Even today, many of these recordings are startling.


  • Django by Michael Dregni (ebook).
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  • Django: The Life And Music Of A Gypsy Legend by Michael Dregni - JazzTimes.
  • Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend.

Writing about these recordings, Dregni conveys the excitement of art, youth and early fame in Paris between the world wars. The quintet ended with the arrival of World War II.

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The band was in London on tour in when the first air-raid sirens went off. Django did not hesitate. He immediately departed for Paris, even leaving behind his guitar. His decision to return to Paris could have been fatal. Sadly, the only picture herein is an unfortunate drawing on the cover that depicts Reinhardt's famously crippled left hand looking perfectly healthy.

How Django Reinhardt got the whole world on a string

The editors and their budgets likely share blame for these weaknesses, but despite its flaws, Django works. The reader comes away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the guitarist and his music. At only pages, there's room for future volumes on Django Reinhardt's life, but for now this is the book for any fan, and it's worth the time. If this is a gift, throw in a few more bucks, get the Delaunay book as well which has both photos and a recording list , and your recipient will have a collection of the complete written works on the seminal guitarist Django Reinhardt.

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Hot 5 facts about Django Reinhardt

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