Join the Arkadia Records
EMail List E-Mail Address:
the 1920s and early 1930s, gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt was
developing his own unique jazz style in his native France where music
is such an important part of gypsy culture. It was and is a common
practice for two to four guitarists, bass and violin to play as a
unit. The famous "Hot Club" evolved from this tradition. The guitars
generated a sufficient amount of rhythm so that a drummer was not
required. Django emerges as the king of all gypsy guitarists with his
flawless technique, speed, and compositional skill.
At the height of this creative period, tragedy struck. While Django
was relaxing in his caravan, a candle accidentally fell onto an
arrangement of dried flowers and set the caravan ablaze. Django and
his young wife escaped with their lives, but Django sustained third
degree burns on his left hand. Many thought he would never play again.
Determined as he was, he began to rebuild the hand. He had zero usage
of the third and fourth fingers but could play with the index and
All of what you hear on these recordings is played with two fingers of
the left hand, and of course a full functioning right hand for
picking. As it ends up, Django could play more with two fingers than
anyone could play with twenty. This is absolutely mind-boggling to a
guitarist who may try to emulate the Django style.