Django: A Life on the Move
Deccaphone, Samois-sur-Seine, 1953

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Django Reinhardt 16

Django went into semi-retirement at Samois-sur-Seine, an idyllic hamlet southwest of Paris. There he spent much of his time fishing, and took up painting again. His other abiding passion was for playing billiards, which he did at the local café until late into the night. Reinhardt reluctantly returned to Paris occasionally to play or record with Hubert Fol and others, and bring a little money in.

Whilst in Switzerland during a brief tour, Django felt unwell. His problem remained undiagnosed due to his reluctance to consult doctors. Happily returning to Samois, he spent the morning of May 16,1953 fishing before going to the café with a friend, where suddenly he collapsed. It was a cerebral haemorrhage, from which at the age of 43, he died that afternoon. (MD p.251)

Deccaphone [P1726-1], named after the recording company, was a 12-bar blues played with a new group of advanced young musicians. Reinhardt’s brilliant fluency and abundance of ideas were undiminished as he concluded the number by trading fours with the vibraphonist. They were to be the last notes that he ever recorded.