First Season Soundtrack – Gypsy Jazz History

Each season of Sex Drugs and Jazz will focus on different types of jazz. The first season follows Neptune who is a seasoned guitarist in the style of gypsy jazz. Here is more background, info, history, and modern jazz bands who uphold the gypsy style.

Gypsy jazz, gypsy swing, le jazz hot, or jazz manouche. Whatever you call it, it is an unmistakable and unforgettable sound. Originating in Paris around the 1930’s, gypsy jazz is a mixture of European gypsy style guitar and American jazz. And the sound is the best of both worlds, haunting mysterious guitar while still style swinging hard.

The godfather of this style of music is Django Reinhardt, one of the most brilliant guitar players in the history of the instrument. Django, a gypsy himself, formed the Quintet du Hot Club de France, an all string French jazz band which by all accounts was Europes own first popular jazz group.

Check out this rare short film and the Quintet du Hot Club de France. It is one of only a few videos of Django playing guitar, and is fascinating to watch. For all his technical brilliance, Django played with limited fingers, as his Caravan caught fire when he was young, and burned most of his left pinky and ring finger. It is incredibly lucky that this film has been made available, so we can watch this virtuoso at work and at his best.

The Hot Club de France – Django

There are also amazing gypsy jazz bands playing around the globe

keeping the spirit and music of Django alive.

Check them out and support them!

Featured gypsy band

The Hot Club of San Francisco

HCSF’s music is featured on SD and J soundtrack, and featured in many of the episodes from season one.

Other Gypy Jazz Groups

Tchavalo Schmitt

Bireli Lagrene

Stephane Wrembel

Alex Simon - Is an amazing gypsy player from NYC, and is featured on the Sex, Drugs, and Jazz soundtrack as Neptune’s guitar. When you hear Neptune play guitar in episodes, it is Alex.

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