I just ran across the transcript of an interview with Jerry Garcia from 1985. The interview was a long one dealing with a lot of aspects of playing and, of course, Jerry.
The part that I thought you guys might enjoy is as follows (I feel sure that some of have read this before, but for those that haven't): at one point the interviewer asks Garcia "If you could go back in time and question any old musician, does anyone come to mind?" and he said "Yeah. I'd still follow around what's his name-the Gypsy guitarist?" to which the interviewer replies Django Reinhardt. Garcia says "Yeah, Django. I can't remember anything and my mind is gone. I have all of Django's records-every single one of them. Most of what he plays is even hard to understand, no matter how much I've listened to it. In terms of the actual technical how it's happening. Because I listen to it and I hear when a note is being struck and when a note is being articulated with the left hand somehow. And he does things I don't know how he's doing them. I can't imagine. You know, he's got fingers that are about half-a-mile long. I mean, I just don't know how he's doing it. And this is with a fucked-up left hand. He's able to cross his fingers to do runs where the middle finger crosses over the index finger. That much I've figured out because there are things he plays that work that way, and he couldn't do them any other way. There's no other way he could do them. And they're lightning fast. His technique is awesome! Even today, nobody has really come to the state that he was playing at. As good as players are, they haven't gotten to where he is. There's a lot of guys that play fast and a lot of guys that play clean, and the guitar has come a long way as far as speed and clarity go, but nobody plays with the whole fullness of expression that Django has. I mean, the combination of incredible speed-all the speed you could possibly want-but also the thing of every note having a specific personality. You don't hear it. I really haven't heard it anywhere but with Django."
Of course, he's preaching to the choir with us.