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Eddie South, Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt & Hot Club de France - Daphne (1934)


Andre Hodeir called the guitarist Django Reinhardt more a picturesque incident than a historical event. This opinion typifies the value placed on European jazz until the mid-sixties. Musicians from the old world were only tolerated in the sense of 'the exception which proves the rule'. Django Reinhardt and the violin-player Stephane Grapelli with the Hot Club de France, were not the first to assure jazz of an audience in the prewar period and during the Second World War. By the 'twenties many American jazz musicians had taken up residence in Paris. After the clarinettist and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet arrived, there followed a series of important instrumentalists: Kenny Clarke, Bud Powell, Kenny Drew, Stan Getz, Sahib Sihab, Mal Waldron, Johnny Griffin amongst others. With the beginning of free jazz, French musicians - like musicians elsewhere in Europe - began to emancipate themselves from their American colleagues.