Episode Air Date: April 26, 2016
Artist: Django Reinhardt
Recording Title: Belleville
Django Reinhardt was a pioneer of European jazz, and one of the most influential guitarists of all time. But we almost never heard a note.
In 1930 Reinhardt was an eighteen year-old gypsy living on the outskirts of Paris, playing jazz gigs while his wife made and sold paper flowers. One evening an overturned candle caught a flower and set their caravan ablaze. He was badly burned, and especially on his left hand. He emerged with full use of only two fingers. But, as you can hear…it didn’t slow him down. From 1942, this is The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, with “Belleville”.
How did guitar god Jimi Hendrix honor Django Reinhardt?
Hendrix named his group “Band of Gypsys” in Reinhardt’s honor.