“Sweet Chorus” – Django Reinhardt And The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France (1936)

The magical Django Reinhardt.

Django, once a child banjo-prodigy, switched to playing soft-string guitar, while recovering from a fire accident in his young adulthood.

In the misfortune, his last and ring fingers of his playing hand were severely burned. Tragically, scar tissue left his left hand crippled and deformed. The picture above gives a slight view of his hand.

During his recovery, Django ingeniously taught himself a technique which involved using primarily his first and index finger and occasionally using the crippled and fused fingers in a unique way to form a movable chord on the fretboard. The result: two-finger solo runs. A lot of guitar players will say they can play Django’s guitar solos, note for note, but from videos that I’ve seen, they all cheat and use four fingers.

Photo source: last.fm.

For comparison/contrast use only. From the French Chronological Classics CD series.

Composed by Reinhardt-Grappelly; Gramophone K-7843-B; Paris, October 15, 1936: Stephane Grappelly-vn/Django Reinhardt-Pierre Ferret-Joseph Reinhardt-g/Louis Vola-sb.

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