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Verve Jazz Masters 11: Stéphane Grappelli

Stéphane Grappelli

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Album Review

Violinist Stéphane Grappelli's maturity is nicely mapped by this Verve Jazz Masters compilation containing 14 recordings made between September 1966 and May 1992. A skilled improviser whose lengthy career began in the '30s when he co-led the Quintet of the Hot Club de France with Django Reinhardt, Grappelli had a very productive comeback during the time period covered by this collection. The cast of creative collaborators includes guitarists Diz Disley, Ike Isaacs, and Larry Coryell, pianists Michel Legrand and George Shearing, and bassists Eberhard Weber and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.

Biography

Born: January 26, 1908 in Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of the all-time great jazz violinists (ranking with Joe Venuti and Stuff Smith as one of the big three of pre-bop), Stéphane Grappelli's longevity and consistently enthusiastic playing did a great deal to establish the violin as a jazz instrument. He was originally self-taught as both a violinist and a pianist, although during 1924-28 he studied at the Paris Conservatoire. Grappelli played in movie theaters and dance bands before meeting guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1933. They hit it off musically...
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