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Django Reinhardt



Home Up A Cool Move Biography

Django Reinhardt - know the man, play the music

Djangocover.jpg (49988 bytes) 144 pages; ring bound hardback; glossy paper. rrpŁ16.95 $24.95

I spent much of 2004 writing this book about Django Reinhardt. It's very much a labour of love and I really think it's "the one" if you're a guitarist and you want to know more about this exciting style of playing. It's available in bookshops and on Amazon.

There's a thorough and highly readable biography section by Dave Gelly, followed by my part of the book. This begins with a chapter on the Selmer Maccaferri guitars which Django used throughout his career, giving you all you could want to know about their history. Then we get down to an analysis of key elements of Django's style and how to get to grips with it, with reference to the coming transcriptions.

Next come the six transcriptions, all complete songs with intros and outros and solos, and including violin or clarinet harmony parts where appropriate.  I'm particularly proud of these transcriptions and believe they are 100% accurate; I've also included the correct chord shapes for rhythm players. With practice and listening you'll be able to start incorporating Django's licks into your playing, or, if it's more your thing, become an authentic "Hot-Club" rhythm player.

The book includes a CD of recordings of my performances of each of the songs with a full backing band. You can play along with the solos, or there are spaces in the backing tracks for you to try them on your own, or you can improvise your own solos as you wish.

Published by Backbeat Books (www.backbeatuk.com). 

These are the songs transcribed, together with their recording dates and composers:

Djangology (Reinhardt, Grappelly) P77540  Sept 1935 - Backing track on YouTube
Sweet Chorus (Reinhardt, Grappelly) OLA 1295-1 October 15th 1936
Bouncin Around (Gus Deloof) OLA 1953-1 September 9th 1937
Minor Swing (Reinhardt, Grappelly) OLA 1990-1 November 25th 1937 Backing track on YouTube
Honeysuckle Rose (Waller/Razaf) DTB3523-1 January 31st 1938 Backing Track on YouTube
Nuages (Reinhardt) OSW146-1 December 13th 1940

The original tracks are not hard to find; I particularly recommend these compilations from JSP records:
Django Reinhardt, The classic early recordings in chronological order JSPCD901 (5CDs)
Django Reinhardt, Volume 2, Paris and London 1937 - 1948 (4CDs) 

Many of the transcribed tracks are also on this single CD:
Best of Jazz 4036 "An Introduction to Django Reinhardt".

ProperBox also have a good Django compilation.

In March 2005 the prestigious Jazzwise Magazine reviewed the book. Read.



Copyright © 2002/19 Rod Fogg