Like the tick, tick, tock of the stately clock

In 1934 twenty-two year old French violinist, Stéphane Grappelli and guitarist Django Reinhardt formed what has been described as “one of the most original bands in the history of recorded jazz,” Le Quintette du Hot Club de France.

Born in Belgium to a family of gypsies, twenty-four year old Reinhardt (his nickname “Django” is Romani for “awake”) was a virtuoso soloist and composer who invented an entirely new technique (sometimes called ‘hot’ jazz guitar) that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture.

When war broke out the quintet was on tour in the UK.  And while the unattached Grappelli remained, Reinhardt returned to Paris where his family lived, and ultimately reformed the group.

Unlike many gypsies who perished under the Nazi’s systematic murder of European Romanis, Reinhardt survived unscathed.  It has since come to light that he enjoyed the surreptitious (jazz was taboo) protection of Luftwaffe officer Dietrich Schulz-Köhn, aka “Doktor Jazz.” Sadly, Reinhardt would die from a brain hemorrhage just a few years later, at the age of 43.  Grappelli lived a long, incredibly harmonious life and was nearly 90 when he died in 1997.

Inarguably the quintessential Cole Porter standard (when Hollywood filmed his life story in 1946, it was entitled “Night and Day”), Porter was apparently inspired to write today’s song after hearing an Islamic call to worship in Morocco.  First featured onstage in the 1932 musical “Gay Divorce” it was introduced by Fred Astaire, whose recording became a chart topping hit.  Astaire memorably performed it again in the 1934 film version, which we know as “The Gay Divorcee” with that second ‘e’ added at the behest of the ever-vigilet Hays Office.

This rendition by the hot, hot Quintette du Hot Club de France was recorded in “the City of Light” in 1938…only months before it became very dark indeed.

 LISTEN TO THIS SELECTION – Saturday 26 January

Night and Day

 Like the beat, beat, beat of the tom tom

When the jungle shadows fall

Like the tick, tick, tock of the stately clock

As it stands against the wall

Like the drip, drip, drip of the rain drops

When the summer showers through

A voice within me keeps repeating

You, you, you

Night and day you are the one

Only you beneath the moon or under the sun

Whether near to me or far it’s no matter darling

Where you are

I think of you

Day and night, night and day

Why is it so that this longing for you

Follows where ever I go

In the roaring traffic’s boom, in the silence of my lonely room

I think of you

Night and day, day and night

Under the hide of me, there’s an oh such a hungry yearning burning

Inside of me

And this torment wont be through

Till you let me spend my life making love to you

Day and night, night and day

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