He didn't sell many records during his day, seldom toured and sometimes wouldn't even get out of bed when he had a local gig scheduled. But few musicians have cast as big a shadow as "Gypsy jazz" legend Django Reinhardt, who continues to inspire new generations of guitarists and whose music remains an epitome of Euro-cool and swing.
The Bay Area has some fine Django acolytes of its own, but two of the world's leading practitioners of jazz ala Django are visiting this week. At the SFJAZZ Center, Dorado Schmitt, a phenomenal guitarist practically weaned on Gypsy jazz (and quite the Dapper Dan) cuts loose with his Django All-Stars, for shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25-$60. Schmitt will also host a Gypsy jazz workshop/jam session at 1 p.m. Saturday for guitarists who think they can cut the moutarde.
Meanwhile, guitarist Stephane Wrembl, best known for his score for Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," uses jazz manouche as the foundation for an organic, multicultural hybrid that swings every which way. He performs with his band at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Yoshi's Oakland. Tickets are $23.
Also worth noting on the San Francisco jazz scene this week:
- Three of the most dynamic, innovative and hard-working women in jazz -- pianist Geri Allen, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington -- unite for an evening of high-wire improvisation. Tickets are sold out for the 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. shows at SFJAZZ Center, but you can always give the "I need a miracle" approach a shot.
- Pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri play tunes from their acclaimed ECM album, "Transylvanian Concert," 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Duende in Oakland. $15
- Big-voiced singer Lisa Ferraro, soulful sax ace Houston Person and dynamite pianist Tammy Hall's trio team up for an 8 p.m. Friday show at Oakland's Sound Room. $27.50
- Bassist Stanley Clarke, singer Al Jarreau and other A-list performers pay tribute to hard-working and supremely adaptable keyboardist George Duke, 8 p.m. Friday at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. $70-$112
- Singer Sandy Cressman and her quintet breathe new life into Brazilian jazz tradition, 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Berkeley's Jazzschool. $12-$15
- Saxophonist Doug Webb, a prolific session player best known for his decade and half with Doc Severinsen's "Tonight Show" band, celebrates the standards with his quartet, 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society near Half Moon Bay. $35
Send tips, comments and good vibes to the author.