World's Greatest Jazz Guitarist

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by proseandkahn
 Roaring Brook Press Flash Point (MacMillan)
(pub. 9.1.2009)  32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top 

A uthor and illustrator: Bonnie Christensen
C haracter: Django Reinhardt
O verview from jacket flap: 
      "'When I think about the best guitar players ever, the first name that comes to mind is Django Reinhardt. No one has ever equaled his sound or technique.' - Willie Nelson
     Born into extreme poverty in a gypsy encampment, Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) overcame tremendous obstacles, including a debilitating injury, to become the world's most acclaimed jazz guitarist."
T antalizing taste: 
       "Djano doesn't hear the chatter
        Listening to the saxes sigh.
        Trombones moan, clarinets wail
        Jazz riffs curling through the night.

        Jazz Americain, jazz like Django -
                      moving bending
                      changing blending
        Try that rhythm, stretch that measure,
        syncopation.  Twist that line."    

and something more: I recently saw Picasso's Guitars exhibit at MOMA in New York, and was struck by the beauty of his various interpretations of guitars, mostly in a cubist style.  In the exhibit catalog, I read that although he wasn't particularly interested in music, Picasso was drawn to flamenco music -- the guitar music of Spanish gypsies.  And then I found this wonderful nonfiction picture book biography, Django, by Bonnie Christensen about a gypsy guitarist -- isn't it funny how ideas seem to attract similar ideas?  Serendipity!

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