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Stéphane Grappelli - Jazz Violin

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Album Review

Stéphane Grappelli was late in his career and life when these recordings were made, one a studio session from 1987, the other a live performance from 1991. But as these sides ably prove, he was still every inch the swing master, still able to play capably and with fire. The studio session finds Grappelli working in the company of Phil Woods and Louie Bellson, turning in stellar readings of "Anything Goes," "You Took Advantage of Me," "Don't Blame Me," "Caravan," "Have You Met Miss Jones," and "Get Happy," with a bounty of delightful interplay between Grappelli and Woods. The remaining tracks emanate from a live performance at the Operetka House in Warsaw, finding the 83-year-old violinist still capable of bringing much joy and good humor to readings of "Chicago," "Fascinating Rhythm," "Them There Eyes," "I Won't Dance," "I Hear Music," "Honeysuckle Rose," and a medley of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "I Got Rhythm." To the end, the man made some joyous and swinging music. As an added bonus, top-flight liner notes from William Ruhlmann complete the package.


Born: 26 January 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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Stéphane Grappelli - Jazz Violin, Stéphane Grappelli
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