Quintette du Hot Club de France  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Quintette du Hot Club de France was one of the earliest, and most significant, continental jazz groups in Europe. Its most famous members might be St├ęphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, and Louis Vola, but the two rhythm guitarists were essential for the specific group sound. They also used their guitars for percussive sounds, as they had no true percussion section. The concept of "lead guitar" (Django) and backing "rhythm guitar" (Joseph Reinhardt/Roger Chaput or Pierre Ferret), applied by most bands, including virtually all rock and pop bands, was originally developed in the Quintette.

There are several versions of how the band was formed. The most likely comes from Louis Vola, who said in an interview that he found the Reinhardt brothers playing on a beach at Toulon. He invited them to jam with his own band, which included Grappelli and Chaput. This is the reason why the Quintette had an unusual lineup of three guitars, violin and string bass. It is thought that the band called themselves after a French jazz society called The Hot Club de France, which was founded by Charles Delaunay. But there was an actual Hot Club in Paris and the band did play there.

The musicians did jam sessions together at the Hotel Claridge before forming a group by suggestion of Pierre Nourry and Charles Delauney, the leaders of the "Hot Club de France". The quintet became popular for gypsy jazz, largely due to Django's influence, and for tours throughout Europe which increased jazz's profile there.

The group disbanded in 1939 due to World War II. It was followed up by a band with the same name but totally different instrumentation, with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet replacing Grappelli and a more conventional rhythm section with drums, bass and only one rhythm guitar played by Django's brother Joseph.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Quintette du Hot Club de France" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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