A jazz violin pioneer and one of the greatest jazz violinists of all time, Stephane Grappelli epitomized the art of swing jazz violin throughout his long and influential career. The early ‘80s found the always-swinging jazz violin master recording two already-classic sessions for the Concord Jazz label---At The Winery (recorded live in 1980) and Vintage 1981 (recorded in the studio in 1981). Grappelli was in his 70s when he recorded these two projects---and he hadn’t lost an ounce… MORE
MORE RELEASES FROM STEPHANE GRAPPELLI
ABOUT STEPHANE GRAPPELLI
One of jazz’s greatest violin soloists, Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997) originally became famous for his association with guitarist Django Reinhardt, but he had a lengthy solo career long after Django had passed away.
Born in Paris, Grappelli worked in movie theaters and orchestras before first teaming up with Reinhardt in 1933. Although they were a bit of an odd couple, with Grappelli being sophisticated and Reinhardt a gypsy, musically they meshed together perfectly. As co-leaders of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, an all-string group consisting of the co-leaders, two rhythm guitarists, and a bassist, Django and Stephane made musical history.
The classic group lasted until the outbreak of World War II. when Reinhardt decided to return to the European continent while Grappelli opted to stay in England. The violinist formed a new group that featured the young pianist George Shearing. He had several postwar reunions with Django during 1946-1949, happy occasions that ended with the guitarist’s death in 1953.
Although Grappelli worked steadily in Europe during the 1950s and ’60s, he was in relative obscurity. It was during this era that he collaborated on a record date in 1957 with violinist Stuff Smith, the Oscar Peterson Trio, and drummer Jo Jones. Violins No End has been reissued in the Original Jazz Classics series. But it was not until he began traveling around the world in the early 1970s that Grappelli was rediscovered. Americans were delighted to hear the violinist in prime form playing vintage swing tunes.
From his later period comes a Pablo trio date with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels Pedersen (Live at Tivoli Gardens) as well as several enjoyable dates for Concord: At the Winery, Vintage 1981, and Stephanova. 1980’s One on One (for Milestone) is particularly stimulating for it is a successful duet set with pianist McCoy Tyner.
Stephane Grappelli continued circling the globe and playing the music he loved up until the time of his death in 1997 when he was 89.