John Lewis, “Django” and Django

John Lewis Head Shot

This is the birthday of John Lewis (1920-2001), the pianist and music director of the Modern Jazz Quartet. Many of his compositions are staples of the jazz repertoire. None is better known than “Django,” named for the Belgian Gypsy guitarist who was the first European musician to become a major jazz figure. Lewis discussed the piece and his reason for writing it in a television appearance with Billy Taylor. The clip is a reminder of the pleasantness of John's personality and the understated … [Read more...]