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Paris and London: 1937-1948, Vol. 2 Box set, Best of

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 27.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 27 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Best of
  • Label: eOne Music
  • ASIN: B00005A7KP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,754 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. St Louis Blues
2. Bouncin' Around
3. I've Found A New Baby
4. Bricktop
5. Speevey
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Stockholm
2. Younger Generation
3. I'll See You In My Dreams
4. Echoes Of Spain
5. Out Of Nowhere
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Swing De Paris
2. Oiseaux Des Iles
3. All Of Me
4. Festival Swing
5. Dinette
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Swingtime In Springtime
2. Yours And Mine
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
4. I Won't Dance
5. R Vingt Six
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Paris and London 1937-1948 is every bit as essential and fascinating for lovers of jazz guitar as JSP's first inexpensive Django box, Django Reinhardt Vol.1. Between 1937 and 1948, the world's best-known gypsy guitarist was leading some of the hottest jazz groups in Europe, with some of the most innovative arrangements imaginable. The story behind these sessions is almost as memorable as the material--somehow Reinhardt, despite being a gypsy, prospered through Nazi-occupied France while his peers either fled or perished. Due to the war, the classic line-up of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France evolved and eventually splintered into two groups--one with Stephane Grappelli on violin, another replacing him with the clarinettist Hubert Rostaing. But regardless of Reinhardt's accompaniment, the music-making heard here is nothing short of astounding. Whether swinging through standards such as "All of Me", "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" or performing some of his classic originals (such as "Nuages" and "Swing 42"), whether alone ("Improvisations" and "Tea for Two") or backed by more than a dozen friends ("Festival Swing"), this is some of Reinhardt's best music. JSP's remastering and transfers on these 60-year-old 78s is the finest yet available. Essential for swing fans, guitarists and anyone wanting to know more about the history of jazz. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I got "Paris and London" and JSP's other great box set, "The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order," at roughly the same time, and for a while I listened constantly to the "Early Recordings" and pretty much neglected this set. One reason is that the "Early Recordings" are so great that I couldn't tear myself away, but another reason is that the "Paris and London" set includes more large-ensemble recordings that have taken me a little longer to appreciate. By my taste, at least, Django is at his best in small acoustic settings (e.g., in the famous Quintet of the Hot Club of France, or even soloing or just accompanied by piano). "Paris and London" does contain a number of songs by the original Hot Club (including Stephane Grappelli), and most of those rank with the very best on the "Early Recordings" set --- but there are also a number of wartime recordings (made while Grappelli was stranded in London) that have a more standard jazz ensemble sound (featuring Hubert Rostaing on clarinet in place of Grappelli's violin), as well as a few performed with large orchestras, and at first I found those a little less appealing. My view changed a little, though, when I read in Django's biography (by his contemporary, the French music critic Charles Delaunay) that by this stage of his career Django was becoming more interested in composing and arranging than in simply playing guitar, and that he felt there were more musical possibilities in larger groups than within the limitations of the string quintet (three guitars, bass and violin). So I've been going back and listening to these large-ensemble recordings with a new ear, and I guess I can say that it's expanded my musical horizons a little.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I'm going to start a JSP fan club, for consistently putting out excellent compilations at reasonable prices. I also recommend their Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton sets.
My first real introduction to Django was vol. 1 from JSP, which at 5 CDs was an overwhelming but wonderful experience. Vol 2 is slightly shorter ("only" 4 CDs) but covers more ground, both in time span and variety of music. The war-time recordings that take up the middle portion of the set use all sorts of additional instruments (harmonica!), and some show a much stronger European classical music influence. Quite a few of these tracks have a suprisingly moody, atmospheric feel. Others sound more like American swing bands (Rostaing on clarinet invites Benny Goodman comparisons).
However, it is still the tracks with small string-based bands, especially with Grapelli's violin, that really throw off sparks. The first disc, in particular, is simply unbelievable, and it took me some time to move on to the subsequent discs - I just kept playing disc 1! This is the Quintet at its peak, exceeding my wildest expectations.
So, as interesting and enjoyable as the war-time tracks are, they tend to dilute the intensity and quality of the package, at least a little. I'd therefore recommend vol. 1 as more essential, and the place to start.
Packaging notes: True to JSP budget-priced form (quality sound being more important than pretty pictures), the packaging is skimpy, with all essential documentation (personnel, dates, etc.) and some limited commentary, and that's it. While the design is more professional looking than the rather amateurish graphics of volume 1, I miss Ted Kendall's chatty, personable liner notes.
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Format: Audio CD
I certainly agree with the other reviewers about the music here being terrific. I also favor the small ensemble work rather than the larger aggregations. After all, there's more Django in the small arrangements.
But I do have to comment on the sound quality. One of the remarkable things about the first installment of this set (the 5 CD box) is its sound. Engineer Ted Kendall did a sterling job of collecting the best quality sources and then cutting as little as possible from the output to give us the music. By contrast, this set is far less impressive. There is much less depth to the bass and the high end has been truncated a bit too in the interest of getting rid of surface noise.
It is because of the sound that I give this set three stars (and really would give it three and one-half if there was that option).
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't think it could get any better then the first JSP boxed set, "Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order", but this new 4 CD Set, "Vol. 2-Paris & London 1937-48", takes off right were the other one left. You still get the nice combo of Django's guitar w/ Stephane's violin on a handful of tracks. But with the fresh sound of Hubert Rostaing on Clarinet, your treated to a whole new dimension of Django's music. As a bonus, Django plays solo on a few tracks and his new ensamble with reeds, brass, harmonica and vibes really hits the spot. Tremendous sound quality and clarity. Another great remastering job by the crew at JSP. This collection belongs in everyone's Jazz library, right next to volume 1.
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Format: Audio CD
For someone like me who loves every note Django Reinhardt ever played this 4-CD collection and another 5-CD set also available on Amazon, "Django Reinhardt: The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order," 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.
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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