Stéphane Grappelli

Steff and Slam

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It only seems natural that violinist Stephane Grappelli and bassist Slam Stewart, two masters of swing whose careers both got underway in the 1930s, would eventually record together; they are joined by pianist Johnny Guarnieri, guitarist Jimmy Shirley, and drummer Jackie Williams. Things start off well with a lively run through "I Would Do Anything for You," featuring the leader's matchless violin and Stewart's trademarked bowing while singing in unison an octave above. Most of the rest of the numbers are also songs that both men likely played countless times during their respective long careers; there are no disappointments. Grappelli plays solo piano on two originals, "Sysmo" and "Flonville," while "Sweet and Lovely" was added from a different date, with Roland Hanna, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Duvivier, and Oliver Jackson taking over for the earlier rhythm section. Recommended.

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