From the outcast and despised vagabond Romany people came Django (it means “I Awake”) who, unlike French musicians spellbound by American jazz but unable to progress beyond the mere copycat stage, was able, via his idiosyncratic guitar style, to graft jazz phrasing onto his own playing. With only two workable fingers on his left hand (the result of a Romany fire) he nevertheless forged a gypsy jazz that was all his own. And when he joined forces with violinist Stéphane Grappelli to form the Quintet of The Hot Club of France, a uniquely stringed creation flamed...for a while. The Quintet, argumentative and unstable, led by these two very different personalities, was never a lasting unit, much to the chagrin of the intense and musically entrenched Hot Club president, writer and critic Hugues Panassie. Freed now from those stormy times we are able, via recordings, to quietly enjoy the classic freewheeling and yet disciplined French jazz of Reinhardt, Grappelli, and his fellow swinger-stringers.