Django Reinhardt – private Life (5/6)

    Django Reinhardt - private Life (5/6)

    Django Reinhardt – private Life (5/6)

    Another important event in his private life comes up in 1944 with the opening of the nightclub ‘Le bouef sur le toit’ in the Rue Pigalle (image left), which is renamed later into ‘Chez Django Reinhardt’ and whose owner and boss he was at this time.

    After the freeing of Paris in August 1944 Django appears there with Fred Astaire and plays with different soloists of the “Glenn Miller Orchestera”.

    But very soon, after about two years, he is giving up on the nightclub again, as all the work and the organizing seems too time-consuming to him (image right, inside the club).

    Django Reinhardt - private Life (5/6)

    In the last months of 1944 the performance of a Mess composed by Django Reinhardt in the chapel of the “institution of the Jeunes Aveugles” take place. 

    Django Reinhardt - private Life (5/6)

    Django had started to compose this Mess for “his Manouches” inspired by classical music-composers, so that his people could celebrate her traditional pilgrimages to Les Saintes-Mairies-de-la-Mer with his music.

    But this Mess has never been finished nor officially performed in public (image above: Django listening to the performance of his music in a church).

    In 1949 Django came back to France from his tour in the USA. He had got an invitation of the “Duke Ellington Orchestra” for this tour. However, this tour had failed in his eyes, as it was missing the expected “big breakthrough” in America.

    Although he had met all important jazz musicians of his time and had made music with these, musician as for example Duke Ellington, Satchmo, Benny Goodman, Harry Volpe, Dizzy Gillespie and more.
    But he looks at the tour, nevertheless, as failed. He is disappointed as he hasn´t been recognized as “Django Reinhardt, the greatest Guitarplayer of the world” or has been celebrated as such in the USA. The critics had been rather sobering.

    Even though he had played the biggest halls in the USA, had played Carnegie Hall and on Broadway, played with the most famous guys of the Jazz-Scene … Django had excited thousands of people with his playing and his name was mentioned well by all critics – but the “big smash” keeps off in his eyes. He is disillusioned and withdraws, back in France in the end of 1949 from the music.

    So in 1950 he buys a house in Samois-sur Seine, about 70km south of Paris (image below) and widthdraws form everything.

    In Samois he starts to paint again, very intensive this time (see also the article Django – the Painter) and goes fishing (image right below, 1952 in Samois).

    He now wants to make it as a painter, even talking to his friend Charles Delauney about his carreer as such. “…I want just to paint from now on“, he tells him. With music it seems he absolutely done for now. But things went different.

    Charles Delauney himself has big plans and wants to bring Django back into business for a huge tour with other famous musicians like Benny Goodman and Satchmo, bringing them over to Europe.

    Django Reinhardt - private Life (5/6)

    But it isnt that easy like it was before. The scene had changed and modernized. And the music that Django had played with the Quintette du Hotclub de France in the early 20ies and 30ies isn´t well asked anymore. New music is on, the new sound is called “BeBop”.

    Well, Django Reinhardt was a person who was always interested in new things, open for new musicstyles and interested in new challenges, like new instruments or musicians … so he easily integrated this new sound into his own playing out of his experience from his USA-tour.

    Django Reinhardt - private Life (5/6)

    About 1950 / 51 Charles Delauney is able to convince him again to play. And so Django is recording a few more records, this time with electric Guitar (e.g. a Gibson ES175) and thus although with a complete new sound.

    One of these unforgettable recordings is an album together with “Guitars Unlimited” (image above) containing tunes like “Nuages”, “Manoir de mes reves”, “Brasil” and others, everything pretty much modern and arranged in “bebop-style” .

    Read more -> Django Reinhardt – Private Life (6/6)

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