Django's Rome Sessions - Best Quality CDs?

Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
edited January 2013 in CD, DVD, and Concert Reviews Posts: 459
Let's settle this once and for all.

"Djangology" by the Bluebird label has, to my knowledge, the best quality recordings of any Rome Session tunes. Better than the Intégrale by a long shot. Only 23 tunes on the CD, however.

The "Django in Rome" 4-CD box set remastered by Ted Kendall has noise removal, but they are very dark sounding.

The Intégrale series has less noise removal, but they're not as dark. More brightness in the sound.

"Djangology" by the Bluebird label has noise removal, but the tunes are still bright and fresh, unlike the Ted Kendall "Django in Rome" ones.

Some remastered tunes are borrowed from the "Intégrale CD:s" to "Django in Rome", while the "Djangology" remastering is all original. Basically, "Django in Rome" stole some tunes off the Intégrale set without remastering.

In conclusion: The Bluebird "Djangology" CD is by far the best in terms of quality, then the "Intégrale" series, and then the "Django in Rome" 4-CD set.

The reason for this is because when Ted Kendall remastered the tunes ( the ones which were not stolen from the "Intégrale" series), he removed a lot of the high-end by removing the noise which in turn made the recordings sound very dark and not very lively. The Bluebird "Djangology" CD removed the noise without getting rid of the high end.

The "Djangology" CD is a straight improvement over the Intégrale series while the "Django in Rome" set is a straight deterioration of the tunes compared to the other two candidates.

This is of course my own opinion.

If anyone has the name of any other CD with these recordings, please tell so I can make a comparison.

The "Django in Rome" recordings which were stolen from the Intégrale set are:

"To Each His Own"
"Oe Es-Tu Mon Amour"
"Swing 42"
"I Surrender Dear"
"After You've Gone"
"I got Rhythm"
"I Saw Stars"
"Artillerie Lourde"
"It's Only A Paper Moon"
"Time On My Hands"
"Swing Guitars"
"Darktown Strutters Ball"
"St. Louis Blues"

All the other recordings from the "Django in Rome" set are worse quality than the "Intégrale" set, (since this list was of recordings "stolen", so they are duplicates.) and of course the Bluebird "Djangology" CD.

Another thing to note is that the Bluebird "Djangology" CD has all the tunes re-tuned to concert pitch 440hz, unlike the "Intégrale" set, where all the tunes are slightly too high in pitch. So they're perfectly in tune. The reason for them being out of tune in the first place is because the recordings are old. The "Djangology" CD fixes this problem so you can play play along in tune on any instrument. Especially those that cannot be re-tuned.


  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 545
    Hey Svanis, thanks for posting this. I've had the Integrale CDs and assumed they had the best sound quality. I'm going to check out the Djangology CD -- looking forward to it!

  • MusetteMusette New
    Posts: 96
    I checked that CD.
    It has really MUCH better sound quality than the Integrale.
    Thanks for the info Svanis.

    I wish the complete Integrale had such audio quality.
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Djangologie is right up there in terms of quality too. But svanis is right, the Bluebird is possibly the best quality Django issue on the market today
  • MitchMitch Paris, Jazz manouche's capital city!✭✭✭✭ Di Mauro, Lebreton, Castelluccia, Patenotte, Gallato
    Posts: 159
    Hi Svanis,

    There are so many cd's with the Rome sessions that it's hard to be exhaustive.

    Thanks for your pointing this Bluebird reissue that I did'nt know, I'll check this ! :) DO you know what source did they have?

    My ultimate dream is to redo completely the intégrale (not lacking respect to Never's titan work) with only the best sources, PITCHED (as I did with the Retrospective 34/53) and more musical analysis :)

  • Svanis1337Svanis1337 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 459
    Sorry Mitch. I don't know their sources. But if you go on Spotify for example, you can hear that they all copy eachother except a few notable exceptions. Most of those exceptions aren't on Spotify. Bluebird Djangology isn't, and the Intégrale isn't. The HMV box set isn't either, which also has very slightly better quality than the Intégrale.

    The BD Jazz Django Reinhardt Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are pretty good, but the Intégrale/HMV set/Bluebird Djangology is ultimately better.

    In conclusion:

    The Intégrale is excellent and has the best quality of any release EVER, apart from the tunes that are on the HMV and the Bluebird Djangology.

    I'd buy your album in a heartbeat, Mitch.

    I'd really love a complete Feb. 1, 1953 "Fine and Dandy Jam Session" with Tony Proteau & orch at the Jazz Variétés concert. (This was an ORTF broadcast.) "Django on the radio" volume E has it, but it fades out at 6:20 and is lower quality than the Intégrale of course. The Intégrale cuts to a later part in the song at 6:15 and continues for around 50 sec before ending.

    Why they do this I don't know.

    What's also important is to have Pour Que Ma Vie Demeure restored and in higher quality. Another tune that needs this treatment is "Margie" from 1951. One of my favorite Django performances. Django really takes it to new heights. It drops out near the end and that could be restored.

    There's also a few missing Django tunes. There's two in particular that exist but are lost, and those are from the 1950 Radio Luxembourg broadcast with Django & Jacques Hélian's orchestra playing "Double Whiskey" and then four of the orchestra members and Django playing "I got Rhythm" as a quintet. Django could either play electric or acoustic. If he plays acoustic, then it'd be a rare chance to hear Django on acoustic after 1949. The only other example is the "Belleville" and "Nuages" solos from the Rivages De Paris soundtrack circa 1950.

    You can read about the missing tunes here:

    Even Paul Vernon's book: Jean 'Django' Reinhardt: a contextual bio-discography , states that these tunes were to appear on "[CD Fmx FA]".

    Of course the Carnegie Hall tunes have to appear on there as well.

    Now, one thing I've been wondering is what the purpose of the 1951 "Nuages" intro is. The one with the announcer saying something like: "And here's a gypsy from Paris; the great guitarist Django Reinhardt." with the tremolo strings and vibraphone. Is it just an intro for "Troublant Boléro"?

    Lastly, I have to say that with the absence of Django Reinhardt footage in France, perhaps it would be wiser to start looking in other places. France wasn't all that proud of Django as we know, and filmed American musicians much more than their own. We have to remember that Django was a big attraction elsewhere. There might be footage hiding in the UK, in the US, in Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Algeria, Sweden and anywhere else in the world Django have been. And in particular, ask venues in which he have played that still exist if they have any surviving documents or know where those could be found. Of course they might not know who Django is, but they might be able to help someone anyway.
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,261
    Does this Sony CD have the same quality as the Bluebird issue which seems to be unavailable new in the UK at the moment? There seems to be no mention of re-mastering on it.

  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    Good question Teddy, amazon wouldn't even let me download the mp3's 'cos i'm in the wrong country. :x
  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    But they will post me the CD from america. :D

    About the same price as downloading the mp3's too. :lol:

    It'll just take about 3 more weeks before i can sit down & listen to it. :(
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    @Teddy had that CD in my hand in Tower records before Christmas, I'm almost sure that is a reissue of the Bluebird sides
  • Teddy DupontTeddy Dupont Deity
    Posts: 1,261
    redblues wrote:
    @Teddy had that CD in my hand in Tower records before Christmas, I'm almost sure that is a reissue of the Bluebird sides

    Thanks but I need to be 100% certain as I already have these recordings on several CDs, cassettes and vinyl and I only want to get something that is tangibly better. Fabulous playing by Django at these sessions with some of the most powerful acoustic guitar performances ever recorded. Steph is also on form and plays much better than he did with the pre-war Quintette.
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