The Complete Django Reinhardt and Quintet of the Hot Club of France Swing/HMV Sessions 1936-1948
Swing with its own rules. An apt description of Django Reinhardt's largely unrefined sound, a mirrorlike reflection of the man and the time in which he played. Yet when Reinhardt on acoustic guitar and violinist Stephane Grappelli started trading solos back in the 1930s, Europe suddenly boasted jazz musicians equal to anyone in the United States.
Although the six-disc anthology is arranged chronologically, the best place to start is at the end of disc one, where you're first introduced to the April 1937 recording sessions that spill over to most of disc two. On "Hot Lips" and "Ain't Misbehavin'," Reinhardt, by playing relentlessly against the rhythm yet never seeming to be hurried or strained, demonstrates an attack similar to Louis Armstrong's. His nonchalance gives his solos elegance, as on "Body and Soul," when Reinhardt concentrates on the higher registers and produces a beautifully light and poetic gem. Meanwhile, Grappelli's violin wonderfully captures the wistful melancholy of the French popular song tradition. The interplay between the two is best heard on cuts from disc two, such as "Miss Annabelle Lee" and "The Sheik of Araby."
The last half of disc six contains some fine Reinhardt/Grappelli material recorded in 1947 and 1948, around the time the jazz world was moving beyond their sound. The bop revolution had reached Europe, and an all-string swing band seemed like an anachronism. The QHCF simply melted away, each soloist going his own way in 1948.
As with all boxed sets on Mosaic, the liner notes are excellent and each session date is completely detailed. The $96 anthology is not sold in stores and is available by mail from Mosaic Records, 35 Melrose Place, Stamford, Connecticut 06902, or on-line at www. mosaicrecords.com. You can also call Mosaic at (203)327-7111. -- Aaron Howard
Get the Horn
Sub Pop Records
From Norway, home to countless death-metal specialists, comes another band of discontents: Gluecifer, named in part after the band members' favorite pastime, sniffing glue. Two full-length albums and a handful of assorted singles helped the band score with Sub Pop, which is releasing this EP, its American debut.
Self-proclaimed "kings of rock," with nicknames like Captain Poon No. 1, Biff Malibu, Jon Average, Raldo Useless and Danny Young, Gluecifer firmly places tongues in its collective cheek.
The title track starts with a stuttered drum roll and grimy riff. "Well, I'm happy," sings Biff, "I'm bad / I'm your rock machine." (For those of you not versed in Euro-slang, "get the horn" means "getting horny.") This record is a male teen's wet dream: bragging about manhood over blaring guitars.
Get the Horn delivers a much-needed mainline of adrenaline to the U.S. scene. Composed of assorted tracks from Gluecifer's previous Nordic releases, it is a prime example of what happens when rock and roll falls into the hands of bored guys in Oslo. They take it, speed it up, turn it up and play it back to the land where it all began. Basically a six-song introduction for Americans, Get the Horn is over too quickly. Rebellious, loud and crammed with talk about dirty things, the EP is a speedball shot into the veins of the cellulite-covered biz.
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