Swing Guitars (with Philip Catherine, Larry Coryell & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen)
France became the first European nation to put its stamp on jazz thanks to a single musician: French-Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt. He was forced to reinvent his playing technique after losing the use of his ring finger and pinkie in a fire at age 18, and was obsessed with the American guitar-and-violin duo of Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti. In the ‘30s he fashioned a briskly swinging approach that melded the popular French musette waltz with Romani chromaticism, changing the role of his instrument in jazz. Reinhardt's recordings with violinist Stéphane Grappelli under the moniker Quintette du Hot Club de France, featuring two rhythmically driving guitars behind the lead, defined an ebullient style that endures to this day. Subsequent adherents have deployed the Hot Club name and format, remaining true to the sound, while some practitioners like the Hot Club of Detroit and Latcho Drom have opened things up with new global accents.