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Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli, Nuages



“Europe’s pre-eminent jazz instrumentalist of all time.” Few will dispute Duke Ellington’s verdict on the legendary gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt. In 1928 he was burned in a caravan fire leaving the nerves and sinews of his left hand shrivelled and his third and forth fingers virtually paralysed. To play the guitar he had to devise a unique method of fingering which contributed to the originality that made him a true genius of jazz. Reinhardt & Grappelli were both members of a 14 piece band Louis Vola put together to play at the Hotel Claridge in 1934. One day the two began an impromptu improvisation in a dressing room between performances and the following day it continued when guitarist Roger Chaput joined in and Louis Vola brought his double base. The quartet became a quintet when Django invited his brother Joseph to join and the group played for the sheer joy of it. The groups first public performance was given on 2nd December 1934 at the Ecole Normande in one of the “Hot club of France” concerts. Later that same month Ultraphone made the first recording of “Le Quintette du Hot Club de France.”

Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli, Nuages