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The Platinum Collection

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Album Review

Django Reinhardt's extraordinary contribution to the art of jazz improvisation is documented within a musical legacy consisting of literally hundreds of recordings made between 1928 and 1953. Under the heading of The Platinum Collection, 40 selected titles from this massive discography were assembled by the Start label in 2004, predating EMI's identically titled 60-track anthology by four years. Start's approach was to spotlight Reinhardt's collaborative friendship with violinist Stéphane Grappelli while focusing mainly upon the records they cut together during the late '30s. Anyone wishing to investigate with greater thoroughness has multiple chronologically sequenced collections to choose from. Recommended labels in that realm include Classics, EMI, JSP, Naxos, and Fremeaux & Associes. Start's double-disc sampler will work nicely as an easy introduction to the stimulating pleasantries of Gypsy swing.


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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The Platinum Collection, Stéphane Grappelli
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