Jean "Django" Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953) was a pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer. He was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, into a family of Manouche Romani descent. Reinhardt's nickname "Django", in the Romani language, means "I awake." Reinhardt spent most of his youth in Romani (Gypsy) encampments close to Paris, playing banjo, guitar and violin from an early age.
Reinhardt is often regarded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and is the first important European jazz musician who made major contributions to the development of the idiom. Using only the index and middle fingers of his left hand on his solos (his third and fourth fingers were paralyzed after an injury in a fire), Reinhardt invented an entirely new style of jazz guitar technique (sometimes called 'hot' jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. With violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, described by critic Thom Jurek as "one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz."Reinhardt's most popular compositions have become jazz standards, including "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages".
This collection contains the best of his immortal recordings with Stephane Grappelli together with other highlights illustrating his instrumental prowess.