Since Django only lived to the age of 43 it may seem odd to refer to any point that could be considered a “late” period. Yet, the recording he did from about 1948 until his death in 1953 are what I am referring to. This was the period immediately following his short tour of the United States with Duke Ellington. Django was very influenced by Bebop at this point and recorded many pieces that reveal that influence. He also went for a more “electric” sound at this point.
I always have had a deep appreciation for this “late period Django” and some of the tunes he wrote during that time like “Nuits De Saint-Germain Des Pres” and “Fleche D’Or.”
May 16 will mark the 63rd anniversary of Django’s death. He died at the very early age of 43. Django has long been a major influence on my music. It is quite remarkable just how popular his music remains throughout the world.
I first discovered Django’s music when I was about 18 years old. While listening to the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) late one night I happened on a show that featured several tracks from the various periods of Django’s development. I was particularly struck by his “late period” which is generally considered the time shortly before his death (1949-1953). It was at this point that the influence of bebop was coming to the fore in his playing and compositions.