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Jazz In Paris, Vol. 1: Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli Quartet

Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli

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Album Review

One of the nice things about jazz is the cross-pollination of different players in multiple settings. No one would've thought of pairing swing violinist Stéphane Grappelli and bop pianist Oscar Peterson, for instance, but the match works very well. The pair have expanded into a quartet on this reissue with the aid of double bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and drummer Kenny Clarke. The set, recorded in 1973 in Paris, includes a handful of standards, from Pinkard/Tracey/Tauber's "Them There Eyes" to Rodgers & Hart's "Thou Swell." As one might guess, Grappelli is in his own element on upbeat, swinging pieces like "Makin' Whoopee" and "Walkin' My Baby Back Home." Peterson likewise joins in the spirit of these pieces, making them the most interesting interpretations on the album. Other material, like the lingering "Flamingo" and "My One and Only Love," are also enjoyable, but seem rather tepid in comparison. The latter composition is also handicapped by its nearly ten-minute length. Peterson and Grappelli end with a nice, bouncy version of "Thou Swell" that brings the whole affair to a satisfying close. Quartet, Vol. 1 isn't a perfect recording, but it is an enjoyable one, showing how much fun it is to pair unlikely musicians in the studio and see what happens. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Excellent - And Read Before You Buy!

I love this album, and what an interesting pairing: Grappelli and Peterson. But, you'll notice that "My One and Only Love" is available only when you purchase the complete album. The price of the album being what it is means that getting that one song costs $4. Intrigued, I did a search and found the exact same song available on the a la carte basis from another album... and it was the exact same album but under a different label! Thus, if you purchase Jazz in Paris: Vol. 30 on iTunes Music Store you get the exact same music for a savings of 3 dollars. Just thought I'd clue you in... and this is a wonderful album!


Born: August 15, 1925 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest piano players of all time. A pianist with phenomenal technique on the level of his idol, Art Tatum, Peterson's speed, dexterity, and ability to swing at any tempo were amazing. Very effective in small groups, jam sessions, and in accompanying singers, O.P. was at his absolute best when performing unaccompanied solos. His original style did not fall into any specific idiom. Like Erroll Garner and George Shearing, Peterson's distinctive playing formed during the...
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