COMPLETE SOLO GUITAR AND DUET RECORDINGS(2CD)
Digitally remastered two CD set containing all of Django Reinhardt's outstanding unaccompanied guitar recordings, as well as all of Django's duets with other musicians, whether recorded live or in the studio. Includes Django's only existing recordings playing violin! 47 tracks. Essential Jazz Classics. 2010.
I first came across the CD 'In Solitaire: Complete Recordings for Solo Guitar' recently, which was sorely disappointing. One, it was not complete; a few tracks included here are missing from there. Two, and much more importantly, the mastering was done with a type of noise reduction that severely takes the heart out of the recordings. They sound much tinnier than necessary. A super bummer, despite finally having many of those recordings together in one place.
Enter 'Complete Solo Guitar & Duet Recordings' and I'm pleased to find someone's finally got it right. Truly completest and thoughtfully, chronologically sequenced. I haven't even heard some tracks like "Echoes of Spain" before. Spectacular. The liner notes are really superb, giving as much info as possible about the biographical context and archival filing of the recordings, with minimal but pertinent editorializing. And the artwork is really great, well laid out photos of Django's curious and infectious smile, and a nice shot of him and Duke Ellington together. Lastly but certainly not least, the mastering is delicious--faithfully reproduced, enough surface noise left in so that the presence of the sound is maximal.
As a personal note I'd like to mention I'm a nomadic city dweller and haven't had a standalone CD player in over a decade, or even a computer with a CD drive for almost as long. Thankfully I keep a USB CD drive packed away and it came in handy for ripping these recordings. In a way made it me feel like a kid again.
My final request, if we can only have a vinyl issue of this program, I couldn't ask for more. Even still this is a really special little package. Reminds you to count your blessings.