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 strength of his playing. After we see and hear him play “Django,” we’ll listen to Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France from 1940. This was Reinhardt’s first recording of his own most famous composition, “Nuages.” You may be able to detect a harmonic source of Lewis’s inspiration.