'Life After Django Reinhardt'
(Romane, Tchavolo Schmitt, David Reinhardt, Angelo Debarre, Elios Ferre, et al / DVD / NR / 2011 / Cinema Libre Studios)
Overview: Django Reinhardt, the Roma genius, born to Gypsy parents in 1910, is considered by many to be the single most important guitarist in the entire history of jazz. To honor the 100th anniversary of Django's birth, one hundred of his disciples, including his grandson David Reinhardt, have gathered together for the Django 100 Centennial Tour -- traveling the world to pay homage to this exceptional type-setter who marked the 20th century.
DVD Verdict: If you did not know, Django Reinhardt was a gypsy, spending much of his life traveling in a horse-drawn verdine and finally settling down in Samois-sur-Seine. His guitar made him a French jazz great.
Sadly, Django had a short life, just 1910 to 1953, so he wasn't around in 2010 for his hundredth birthday. However, a hundred musicians who followed in his tradition, including grandson David Reinhardt, gathered for a performance to honor Django.
'Life after Django Reinhardt' takes a look at the musicians, who turn out to be almost all guitarists, who came to Samois-sur-Seine. They talk bout the man himself as if he were a God to them. They worship the man, that is plain to see - and hear.
Others talk about their individual encounters with Django. And we also get a view of Django's Gipsy life via a bar that became a music school, and jazz specialty guitars before the performance of "Minor Swing" at the end of the documentary.
In truth though, I would have loved to have seen more performances from the great man. Heard more of his own music. Otherwise, it's a good, if not all-to-brief look at Reinhardt and his musical legacy. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.