Les Doigts de l’Homme

In 1934 Gypsy-jazz guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt joined forces with French violinist Stéphane Grappelli to form Le Quintette du Hot Club de France and history was made. That the legacy of Reinhardt (who lived from 1910-53) is still a vital force in music can easily be seen in the number of Gypsy-jazz festivals held around the world as well as the plethora of hot clubs and Gypsy-jazz recordings such as this CD. 1910, the fourth release by French foursome Les Doigts de l’Homme—which means “the fingers of man”—celebrates the centennial of Reinhardt’s birth and features interpretations of six of his compositions. The quartet is guitarists Olivier Kikteff, Yannick Alcocer, Benoit Convert and acoustic bassist Tanguy Blum. Things get off to a rousing start with a very lively version of “Blue Skies,” one of the six standards chosen. Kikteff and Convert blaze their way through Django’s “Appel Indirect” as though they were on fire with Kikteff taking an incandescent solo. Convert gets his licks in on “Féérie,” another Django item taken at a supersonic speed. They both shine on “Minor Swing”; indeed, the quartet’s coruscating interplay is a delight to behold throughout and especially when they slow down for a magnificent interpretation of “St. James Infirmary Blues.” This CD is pure delight from start to finish and I recommend it highly.