Django only recorded this tune one time—August 25, 1939—the same day he recorded “Undecided” with the young Beryl Davis on vocals. Also on mic that day were Stéphane Grappelli on violin, Joseph Reinhardt, Eugène Vées, and Pierre “Baro” Ferret on guitar and Emmanuel Soudieux on bass. Here’s a link to the audio of that performance:
HCQ Strut — 1939 — featuring Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.
If you don’t already know HCQ Strut we suggest you start by learning the simple version of the tune you’ll find here (courtesy of Jack Soref) in a variety of formats.
Here, Jack is providing you with a more literal transcription of the 1939 QHCF performance of HCQ Strut. This includes the intro and outro, as well as Grappelli’s loose and lovely rendering of the melody.
Django took two characteristically brilliant choruses on the 1939 recording of HCQ. Here you have them both, courtesy of Benjamin Givan and Jack Soref.
Here’s Jack’s transcription of Grappelli’s solo from the 1939 recording. The solo begins around 2:12 in the video we’ve linked you to toward the top of the page.
Marcel Loeffler included HCQ Strut on his 2005 release, Source Manouche:
Good news: Dallas Vietty has transcribed the head and Marcel’s solo from that performance for you. In this material we think there’s something for everyone, from the totally accessible to the very challenging—with a good bit right in that sweet spot between those extremes. It’s all brilliant, beautiful and worthy of study. You’ll find it right here:
Violin solos often adapt quite well to mandolin and we think that’s the case on this one. So here’s Jack’s mando-adaptation of Stephane Grappelli’s solo on the 1939 performance of this tune.
This backing track is from Harry Edwards’ studygypsyjazz.com. (Follow that link and you’ll find lots more where this came from.) Please note that this rhythm track provides the 32 bar format of the tune rather than the 34 bar version you hear in the 1939 performance. Before kicking this one off at a jam you might want to first clarify whether you are going to include the 2-bar tag every time through or only at the close of the tune. It’s played both ways.