Some of you may know that I'm playing jazz guitar – not that much right now as I would like to, though – and therefore I have a special love for jazz guitar music.
So, no surprise that I'm a huge fan of Django Reinhardt. He is probably the most influential European Jazz musician ever.
In the last few years of his career he mostly played electric guitar.
Django Reinhardt and the electric guitar
Some sources state that Reinhardt started to play electric guitar when he was on tour with Duke Ellington in the U.S. where he was forced to use an amplified guitar because of the big concert halls the were playing.
But Paul Vernon Chester writes on his website: “It was not on this tour that Django had first used an electric guitar – film exists of him playing an Epiphone.”
Here is another text I found on the same website:
Stéphane Grapelli about Django Reinhardt
“Django first heard an electric guitar in '46 or '47; I think it was at the Hackney Empire. Somebody brought in the guitar and it made a terrible noise – in those days electric guitars didn't sound as good as they do now.
But Django was so impressed because at last he could play loudly. He played with such volume that I had to ask him to turn it down as it was drowning all of us. He was like a child with a new toy. Of course, to be fair, he didn't know how to handle it.
We'd heard Charlie Christian, and although he would never play like Django, if you know what I mean – the electric guitar being easier than acoustic – Charlie Christian was a master of the electric guitar, Django was born to play acoustic guitar and the richness of Django was in his chords and he could never achieve the same dynamic effect that he could from his acoustic guitar.
He never succeeded to in playing amplified electric archtop guitars and in my opinion he never was a good electric guitarist.”
Well, maybe Stéphane Grappelli thought that Reinhardt was a bad electric guitarist, but this tune is simply a gem in my eyes.
Title: Paris Blues
Artist: Django Reinhardt
Tempo: 181 bpm
Dance: Lindy Hop, Balboa
You can find all the songs of the series also on my Spotify playlist.
Official hashtag of the series: #djcsotw
What do you think about Django Reinhardt's electric guitar skills? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!