DJANGO: A Jazz Tribute

ISBN 13: 9780803023475

DJANGO: A Jazz Tribute

9780803023475: DJANGO: A Jazz Tribute
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Groundbreaking Jazz guitarist Bireli Lagrene and Babik Reinhardt, son of guitar guru Django Reinhardt and a noted guitarist in his own right, pay musical tribute to the late Gypsy Jazz guitar legend with a blistering set of guitar duets in this special Concert Performance DVD entitled Django: A Jazz Tribute. Navigating the difficult guitar-duo format with palpable energy, passion and enthusiasm, Lagrene & Reinhardt create a poignant testimony to the legacy of a guitar genius.

Django Reinhardt was Jazz's original Guitarist Extraordinaire, leading Europe's first major-league Jazz band: The Hot Club of France, which also featured Stephane Grappelli. The ecstatic applause at the opening of Django's composition Nuages is proof that Django's distinctive melodies are still instantly recognizable half-a-century after they originally captivated French audiences. This DVD features the two inheritors of the Reinhardt tradition. Impressing audiences with stylish melodies and an innate sense of swing, and even touring with Grappelli, the famed longtime partner to his idol Django Reinhardt, Bireli Lagrene became Europe's heir apparent to Django, satisfying the swinging Hot-Club era fans longing for that classic sound.

This Jazz DVD homage to Django Reinhardt features Babik Reinhardt and Bireli Lagrene playing selections such as Bireli's Original, Nuages, Action, and Bacara, and is simultaneously a testimony to the legacy of a guitar genius and a showcase of the unprecedented expressive range of the instrument in Jazz today.

Bonus Music from Django Reinhardt
Artist Biographies
Instant Access to Songs and Solos
Digitally Mastered Audio & Video
Digital Dolby Stereo Audio

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About the Actor:

Born in 1966 near Strasbourg, France into a community of gypsies, guitarist Bireli Lagrene became increasingly well known as a child prodigy, performing for the first time at age 4. He immediately began to develop a style that clearly emphasized his roots.

By his teenage years, Lagrene was playing Europe's gypsy music festivals, impressing audiences with stylish melodies and an innate sense of swing, as well as touring with Stephane Grappelli, longtime partner to his idol Django Reinhardt.

Later that same year Bireli's premiere album, Routes to Django, was released and elevated Lagrene as the latest in the long succession of jazz swing guitarists. The album was recorded live and consisted mostly of a collection of reworked Reinhardt selections that Lagrene later publicly reminisced he spent most of his childhood recreating note by note from 78 inch records.

The album was received with critical acclaim, reconnecting the public with the acoustic swinging jazz sound that caught the ear of a music world in the 1920's and 30's. Two years later, Bireli's follow-up album Bireli 15, was released and further solidified his new stature not only as the inheritor of the gypsy sound, but also of the swinging jazz tradition of Django Reinhardt.

As Bireli continued to tour around the world with a variety of jazz musicians including Larry Coryell, Benny Goodman, Ginger Baker, and Gil Evans, his musical curiosity grew. His albums became increasingly less in the tradition he had achieved his fame perfecting, and began to encompass a more mainstream jazz sound that also contained high powered rock-fusion, Brazilian rhythms and even some experiments with electronically aided sounds.

Having substantially drifted from the Reinhardt sound, Lagrene spent a large portion of the late 1990's rediscovering his roots. Albums such as 1995's My Favorite Django and 1998's Blue Eyes, began Bireli's reconnection, but it was the formation of the Gypsy Project that has satisfied the swinging hot-club era fans longing for the classic sound.

Babik Reinhardt, son of Jazz legend Django Reinhardt, was born 1944, nine years before his father's sudden death. Django spent the time he had with his young son trying to teach Babik the piano and ironically taught his child nothing of the instrument that made him a world-renowned icon. He did however inherit a guitar from father and was taught to play by his mother and cousins.

Babik's first recordings were rough, but he quickly found a jazz-fusion style distinct from his famous father. He continued to release albums with a variety of groups and musicians throughout the 1970's and 80's, most notably with the Fernando Martin group and Anniversary Concert with his father's partner, Stephane Grappelli, and Didier Lockwood. Aside from his recording and performing career, Babik composed musical scores for the French motion pictures Le Prix du Silence and Mohammad Bertrand Duval.

Although his style clearly differed from Django's, Babik continually performed at Django Reinhardt and Gypsy festivals, generally opting to perform the Hot Club gypsy-style jazz his father played rather then his own Chicago influenced gypsy music. He created and organized the annual DJANGO D'OR festival and competition that continues successfully today.

In 2001, Babik suffered a fatal heart attack in Cannes, France. While honorably respecting his ancestral and musical heritage, Babik lived outside the shadow of his father and achieved his own accomplishments with a distinct sense of individuality.


Remarkable performances... Lagrene demonstrating that he is one of the finest players of his generation. Here, he pulls out all the stops, putting on amazing displays of technique and musicality... the quality of the playing and the interaction between the two participants will make you want to watch this one again and again. --Jim Ferguson, Jazz Times Magazine

If you like jazz and love the guitar, then buckle yourself into your La-Z-Boy or you're likely to find yourself bouncing around the living room... This video admirably demonstrates his (Birelli Lagrene) supersonic velocity, stunning technique, and the marvelous lyricism he manages to pull from both jazz and Gypsy music... here we have the utmost of both technique and lyricism, filled with Gypsy sentiment. --Tonino Montella, City Paper

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