Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Song Remains the Same

Here is a little example of continuity in jazz.  Django Reinhardt is one of the elder gods of jazz guitar.  I recently acquired a box set of his recordings: The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order.  That's a rather imposing title.  I think that all of the material dates from the 1930's.  Django was a poor Gypsy who made the big time.  He lost the use of the third and fourth fingers of his left hand in a fire.  I supposed this focused all the fire of his soul into the remaining three fingers, for he managed what most mortals could not do with all of their fingers and maybe several more.  

Here is one solid and enduring jazz standard, by Django and his Hot Club Quintet.  I don't have the whole band at hand, but Stephen Grappelli plays violin on most of the cuts. 
Django Reinhardt/The Man I love/
This is lovely jazz improvisation, from back when folks were listening to The Shadow on the radio.  Now here is the same number by contemporary french horn genius Tom Varner. 
Tom Varner/Man I love/The Window Up Above: American Songs 1770-1998
The song remains the same. 

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