I Am Thankful For… (Monday’s Music Moves Me)

So our prompt this week is “I am thankful for (blank),” where the blank is any ONE artist, solo or band. And that’s a real tough one, because there are so many artists I’m thankful for. But maybe the one that modern music owes a lot to is the incredible Gypsy guitarist, Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt, the Manouche guitarist who influenced so many others, from B. B. King to Chet Atkins and by association all the musicians ever influenced by them. Much of Django’s music was made with his group, The Quintette de Hot Club du France, that also included Stephane Grappelli, violinist extraordinaire.

What makes so much of Django’s guitar playing so amazing is that his left hand, the one that covers the frets and allows a guitarist to play the notes and chords, was badly injured in a caravan fire when he was young, fusing the ring and pinky fingers. He taught himself to play with the remaining two fingers and his thumb, adapting to his condition and creating a technique that was hard to match. I’ve shared this video a number of times here, but it shows clearly how he managed to play so well with his handicap. Here is “J’Attendrai.”

This is “Minor Swing,” the theme song for the Quintette. Or so I’ve heard.

“The Sheik of Araby”

“Swing 42”

Finally, “Nuages,” probably his best-known composition.

Years ago, I had heard that all of his music was out of print, and none was to be had anywhere. With the advent of compact disks, somehow all that great music was found. There is a ton of Django’s music out on YouTube, and if you’ve liked this sample, there’s plenty more where that came from.

I’m thankful for Django Reinhardt, Gypsy guitarist supreme. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 21, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

7 thoughts on “I Am Thankful For… (Monday’s Music Moves Me)”

  1. John, WOW, I’m very impressed! I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but my hands are small and this isn’t an instrument for me. I love beautiful guitar compositions, especially latino style mewsic. Thanks for sharing the sound of Django Reinhardt and his amazing ability overcoming the odds to master guitar without the full use of his left hand. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, my friend!

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    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, and congrats to your husband on finding a job!

      I was gifted (?) with big palms and short, chubby fingers, so I wasn’t exactly well-suited to playing guitar, but I had at it for 40 years and got pretty good. Not Django good,but okay anyway…

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  2. Wow, swing and sway… that is great music to listen to when you’re cleaning house I’ll tell ya! I love swing. My mom did too. She’d put the phonograph… or her stereo on and start to clean and end up jitter bugging in the frontroom and I’d be watching her from behind the chair! Boy, how she loved her music and dancing. Thanks for bringing back some old wonderful memories for me my friend. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours my friend. hugs

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