Stéphane Grappelli

Stephane Grappelli/Jean-Luc Ponty

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This is the final recorded meeting of violinists Stéphane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty, following their 1966 concert documented on the LP Violin Summit. Ponty is, in fact, the de facto leader of the date, as all five compositions are his. "Bowing-Bowing" swings much harder than the version heard on Ponty's CD Upon the Wings of Music, due to the inspiration provided by adding a second violinist and having a much stronger rhythm section, including pianist Maurice Vander, guitarist Philip Catherine, bassist Tony Bonfils and drummer André Ceccarelli. "Golden Green" is an up-tempo cooker on this release, although Grappelli preferred playing it as a ballad when featuring it during his own concerts following this 1973 session. "Memorial Jam for Stuff Smith," written in memory of another participant in Violin Summit, is the highlight of the CD. The rock- ish "Violin Summit No. 2" was originally written for the 1971 concert featuring Ponty with violinists Michal Urbaniak, Nipso Branthner and the late Don "Sugarcane" Harris; this much shorter studio version is equally successful. "Valerie" is the only uneventful track of their meeting. Although this session has appeared on many different labels as an LP, this CD version adds three tracks from Grappelli's 1972 date for Vanguard, Satin Doll. While these additional songs are enjoyable, Grappelli fans will want to look for the original two-LP set in addition to this excellent CD rather than just acquire a sampling of that session.

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