JazzDoc: Django Reinhardt

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Django Reinhardt's guitar yearned for a time that never really existed. Like all nostalgia acts, Reinhardt was able to seduce listeners weary of  modernity and convinced that a better, simpler time existed long ago—before industrialization marginalized nature, space and leisure.

In truth, of course, such times never really existed except in the imaginations of believers. But the wish to be transported to a more manageable, gentle place was so strong that Reinhardt's Romani romanticism all but hypnotized those who heard it in the 1930s and'40s. Interestingly, his rhythmic guitar and dashing technique have the same effect on fans today who are convinced that earlier times were better.

Here's a smart documentary on the guitarist...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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