Stéphane Grappelli / Toots Thielemans

Bringing It Together

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This 1984 studio session finally appeared commercially on the Cymekob label in 1995, featuring violinist Stéphane Grappelli in a rare meeting with harmonica player Toots Thielemans; the rest of the group included guitarists Martin Taylor and Marc Fosset with bassist Brian Torff. Though producer Andy Kulberg claims in his notes that neither musician had recorded any of the songs, this is a bit of a stretch. Things get off to a good start with a swinging "Bye Bye Blackbird" and are only weighed down slightly by the tedious "Just the Two of Us" and Paul Simon's lightweight "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover." The rich ballad "Georgia on My Mind" rekindles the fire within the session and "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" is highlighted by Thielemans' matchless whistling. While this release could have been stronger with better chosen songs, it will be an essential acquisition for fans of either Grappelli or Thielemans.

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