QHCF 1934

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I Saw Stars (Maurice Sigler, Al Goodhart, Al Hoffman)

This was the first of three recordings of the song by Django in late 1934 with various lineups. The band playing on this one is mistakenly credited as “Delauney’s Jazz” (see the explanation below); a second was by Patrick et Son Orchestre featuring Django Reinhardt; and the third recording, in December 1934, was credited to the Quintette de Hot Club de France (QHCF). The latter name may have been adapted after the first recording which has the same musicians plus a vocalist, Bert Marshall. But “Delaunay’s Jazz”, with the misspelling “Delauney” introduced at some point, seems to be merely a band description, rather than a name. In a note in the book Django: the life and music of a Gypsy legend, by Michael Dregni, 2004, p. 287-288, the author speaks of this false name applied “in later years” to the band which recorded certain test sides of which this track is one:

This band name was a misnomer. On a surviving copy of the records, an unknown hand had scrawled the name and style of music as “Delaunay’s (jazz)” purely for identification on the label. These test takes survived thanks to Delaunay. He found them just before they were cast out in the 1930s, when they had been forgotten; he played them on his jazz radio broadcasts and later released them commercially.

Charles Delaunay was a French author, jazz expert, co-founder and long-term leader of the Hot Club de France. The son of painters Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, Charles Delaunay was one of the founders of the Hot Club de France. Together with Hugues Panassié he initiated the Quintette du Hot Club de France with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. – wikipedia

I don’t know the early history of the QHCF but the impression I’m left with is that the band may have acquired or chosen it’s familiar name after this early “test side” was recorded. But since the lineup is the same (plus a vocalist) and the band did record under the name Quintette de Hot Club de France no later than three months after recording this track, I’m going to include it in recordings by the band. Since Dregni spoke of “test sides” there are evidently others. However, I’ve only found a couple which I can identify as such at present. Others that I’ve obtained in video format which might be early test sides have not been properly identified yet.

The credits given by djangopedia, with no mention of the misnomer, for this recording:

Sept 1934 – Paris – Delauney’s Jazz: Stephane Grappelly (v), Django Reinhardt (g), Joseph Reinhardt, Roger Chaput (g), Louis Vola (b), Bert Marshall (vo)

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Confessin’ – (m. Doc Daugherty, Ellis Reynolds. w. Al Neiburg) – I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You) was written in 1930. Djangopedia lists several recordings under the title Confessin’. However, identifying this one is problematic. The first recording, in August 1934, had only Django and Joseph Reinhardt on guitars and Juan Fernandez on bass.

I believe I misidentified the recording previously. It appears to be the first Django recording of August 1934 in Paris with a trio consisting of Django Reinhardt, Joseph Reinhardt (g), Juan Fernandez (b)

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Early Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du Hot Club de France

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