Stéphane Grappelli

Live 1992 [Dreyfus]

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At age 84, Stephane Grappelli was continuing to amaze and delight with his energy, invention, enthusiasm, and the sheer swinging joy of his playing. Having almost singlehandedly defined an entire style of jazz violin with guitarist Django Reinhardt in the 1930s, he has never departed from that admittedly archaic but never less than captivating style, and with guitarists Philip Catherine and Marc Fosset and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, he lays claim to the gypsy-jazz mantle all over again, playing tunes both old ("Stella By Starlight," "Oh Lady Be Good," the inevitable "Minor Swing") and new (Catherine's "Galerie des Princes," Larry Coryell's "Blues for Django and Stephane") and egging both Catherine and Fosset on to flights of adrenaline-driven virtuosity that leave the audience yelling for more. Particular highlights include Grappelli's own very lovely composition titled "Ballade," and a fine medley consisting of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "I Got Rhythm." And don't miss his wonderful solo introduction on "Oh Lady Be Good." Excellent.

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