Django Reinhardt died on this date in 1953. He was forty-three years old. Reinhardt melded jazz and the wild élan of the gypsy music he grew up with in Belgium and France. He began to be noticed in 1930 when he was twenty. By the mid-1930s he, violinist Stephane Grappellii and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France were sensations of Europe. By the end of the decade Reinhardt was also working and recording with Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Dickie Wells, Rex Stewart and other leading American … [Read more...]


The May issue of Allegro, the monthly publication of the New York local of the American Federation of Musicians, has reviews by Bill Crow of Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond, the reissue of Gene Lees’ superb biography The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe, and the first volume of Don Rayno’s Paul Whiteman, Pioneer in American Music. From the review of the Whiteman book, a dart in the side of conventional wisdom: This account refutes the accusations that accumulated in the jazz … [Read more...]