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Classic Early Recordings in Chronogical Order Box set, Original recording reissued

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording reissued, May 16, 2000
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Classic Early Recordings in Chronogical Order + Django Reinhardt, Volume 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Original recording reissued
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • ASIN: B00004S5WA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Saw Stars (Unissued As 78) (September 1934)
2. I'm Confessin'
3. Dinah
4. Tiger Rag
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Honeysuckle Rose
2. Sweet Georgia Brown
3. Night And Day
4. My Sweet
See all 26 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Billets Doux
2. Swing From Paris
3. Them There Eyes
4. Three Little Words
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Blue Moon
2. Avalon
3. What A Difference A Day Made
4. Stardust
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Exactly Like You
2. Charleston
3. You're Driving Me Crazy
4. Tears
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews


This wonderful five-disc box is an indispensable collection of prewar, prebop jazz that belongs in the company of your finest Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman sets. Technically, this isn't a true box set--it merely collects five single-disc compilations under one slipcase--but it is infinitely rewarding nonetheless. Disheartened by what he thought were sonically subpar Reinhardt collections, Ted Kendall undertook an ambitious mission to find the best original sources for this classic material and then meticulously remastered them. He wisely opted to leave in some of the surface noise to maintain the clarity and integrity of the music. And what glorious, jubilant music it is! Dating to the very first Quintet of the Hot Club of France sessions in September 1934 (before they'd even established that moniker), the collection includes all the landmark recordings Reinhardt made for Ultraphone, Decca (its English and French labels), and HMV up through the Quintet's 1939 breakup on the eve of World War II. Reinhardt's guitar work is spirited and adventurous throughout--lightning-quick runs, insistent rhythm work, and hybrid "riffs" that seem to split the difference. Nearly all the cuts feature the elegant but vivacious violin work of his most famous foil, Stephane Grappelli, who certainly deserves co-billing on the set. The way the two feed off each other's energy is magical. Despite their well-documented personality clashes, the twosome remains perhaps the most synergistic in jazz history, constantly engaging in their incredible cat-and-mouse games. Often overlooked are the songwriting talents of the two musicians, who contributed several standards to the jazz canon. Though mostly focused on the Quintet recordings, the set detours for such oddities as a pair of solo Reinhardt cuts from 1937 and collaborations with Coleman Hawkins. Simply delightful from beginning to end. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 66 customer reviews
If you love Django, you MUST buy these discs.
Claude Avary
What I like best about him is that, although he was a bona-fide genius, he's never trying to impress you; he's having a good time playing, and so are you, listening.
The best set out there for the quality of the recordings and the money!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Claude Avary on May 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This British label JSP is one incredible outfit: they put out the best jazz in comprehensive sets with terrific sound and at prices that make you wonder if there might be something wrong with them. Let me assure you, there's nothing wrong with this 5-CD set of early recordings from swing guitarist Django Reinhardt. In fact, everything is right -- I have heard many CDs of Reinhardt's music from this period, and they all sound as if they were being played through mud compared to the sound on these discs. Listening to them felt like discovering Django's incredible sound for first time. Sound engineer Ted Kendall deserves a medal for the work he did here. If you love Django, you MUST buy these discs. If you're just discovering him or are curious about him, the low price should be enough to pull you in. Take the chance!
Django Reinhardt was one of the most stunning soloists in jazz history, on any instrument. He swung so hard that most other musicians couldn't keep up with him. The only man who could really swing right along with Django was his frequent partner, violinist Stepahne Grapelli. Together they formed the core of the The Quintette of the Hot Club of France, which performs most of the recordings on these five CDs. But there are also selections of Django playing solo, Django and Grapelli performing duets, and some interesting "guest star" recordings with saxophone players Coleman Hawkins and Alix Combille.
There's a wealth of genius spread over these five discs. Disc One covers 1934-35, when the Quintette was born and started immediately producing classics like "Tiger Rag," "I Saw Stars," "Blue Drag" (one of Reinhardt's great originals), and "Djangology.
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102 of 107 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Even if this weren't such a great deal (and it is!), this belongs on every jazz collector's shelf. Simply the best overview of Django's oeuvre, with astonishing, soaring, magical (daring even!) virtuosity by the guitar master and his counterpart on the violin, Stephan Grappelly.
Considering the price, and that no one had yet reviewed it here, I was skeptical about the quality--but the sound is fine! There was a little too much chug-chugging accompaniment on the first CD, but this was apparently the style (listen to some early Ellington), and the rhythm section loosens up more later.
It's true that there is no bound booklet as we've come to expect from box sets, but I was pleased to see informative liner notes and credits with each CD. Much of the music is taken directly from the 78s of such noted archivists as Robert Parker and John R. T. Davies. Ted Kendall (the remastering engineer and force behind this compilation) notes that he "removed as much extraneous noise as possible without cutting into the music but have otherwise attempted no 'enhancement' of the sound--it would only obstruct the music anyway." Good decision!
Whether you've been a longtime fan or discovered Django Reinhardt through Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown," this is an immensely enjoyable collection. Buy it soon!
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By David Bradley on January 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For someone like me who loves every note Django Reinhardt ever played this 5-CD collection and another 4-CD set also available on Amazon.com, "Django Reinhardt Volume 2: Paris & London 1937-1948," are the Holy Grail. Between the two sets I can load up the CD player with 9 discs and listen to this most unbelievable of all guitar players show off for hours at a time.
There is more swing, more fun, and more incredible guitar playing on these discs than you'll ever hear anywhere else.
This set holds a lead over "Volume Two" because of the inclusion of the amazing fifth CD, where you will find great versions of "You're Driving Me Crazy" and "Tears," the heavenly "Solitude," and what I consider the greatest Reinhardt recording of all, "Liebestraum No. 3." In a 9-CD set covering decades of recordings, "Liebestraum No. 3" stands out as the absolute masterpiece of an absolute master.
Even though they contain no lengthy linear notes, 'free booklets,' posters, etc., these are, without a doubt, the greatest multi-disc box sets I have ever heard.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Randall E. Adams on March 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Newly introduced to the wonders of Django Reinhardt, I first shied away from this release in favor of postwar recordings for fear that the sound and the style of this earlier music might be a bit off-putting to a person not accustomed to music before the 1950s.
Not to worry. The technical sound of these discs is thoroughly amazing, with surprisingly clear and deep bass and usually excellent clarity to Django's guitar and Grappelly's violin. Musically, there are many wonderful originals such as "Blue Drag," "Swing from Paris" and "Appel Direct." I find the originals are often my favorites. Old warhorses such as "Charleston" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" are made fresh and new, something I thought impossible. Fortunately, there are not very many vocal tracks--as the singer merely gets in the way in my opinion.
The price of this set is as close to free as you can get for a five disc collection.
Buy this set. If you fear being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of material, simply introduce yourself to it gradually, disc by disc. But be prepared to be overwhelmed by the wonderfulness of the music.
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