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Stephane Grappelli

One of the all-time great jazz violinists (ranking with Joe Venuti and Stuff Smith as one of the big three of pre-bop), Stéphane Grappelli's longevity and consistently enthusiastic playing did a great deal to establish the violin as a jazz instrument. He was originally self-taught as both a violinist and a pianist, although during 1924-28 he studied at the Paris Conservatoire. Grappelli played in movie theaters and dance bands before meeting guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1933. They hit it off musically from the start even though their lifestyles (Grappelli was sophisticated while Django was a gypsy) were very different. Together as Quintet of the Hot Club of France (comprised of violin, three acoustic guitars and bass) during 1933-39 they produced a sensational series of recordings and performances. During a London engagement in 1939, World War II broke out. Reinhardt rashly decided to return to France but Grappelli stayed in England, effectively ending the group. The violinist soon teamed up with the young pianist George Shearing in a new band that worked steadily through the war. In 1946, Grappelli and Reinhardt had the first of several reunions although they never worked together again on a regular basis (despite many new recordings). Grappelli performed throughout the 1950s and '60s in clubs throughout Europe and, other than recordings with Duke Ellington (Violin Summit) and Joe Venuti, he remained somewhat obscure in the U.S. until he began regularly touring the world in the early '70s. Since then Grappelli has been a constant traveler and a consistent poll-winner, remaining very open-minded without altering his swing style; he has recorded with David Grisman, Earl Hines, Bill Coleman, Larry Coryell, Oscar Peterson, Jean Luc Ponty and McCoy Tyner among many others. Active up until near the end, the increasingly frail Grappelli remained at the top of his field even when he was 89. His early recordings are all available on Classics CDs and he recorded quite extensively during his final three decades. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
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davidstj7
I saw him play at the Blue Note in NYC when he was 88, and he still made that violin sing. I couldn't take my eyes off of his hands.
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Has Stephane Grappelli ever made a bad record ? Every song in Pandora's catalog of his sings ;~)!
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Love that Gypsy Jango Jazz style of his!
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My father, a fine jazz musician in his own right, raised me on this stuff with lots of Brubeck and cool jazz mixed with Dixieland and wild drum music.
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For a few magic performances at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco in the 80s Stephane played with the David Grisman Quintet. There is a recording of one of those performances . It is worth listiening to.
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I just stumbled upon Stephane Grappelli, I am now in love!
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I absolutely adore Stephane Grappelli. Never tire of his talent.
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I was able to see see hear this marvelous musician at the Monterey Jazz Festival ago over 20 years ago. He was quite frail and a chair was brought to middle stage, he slowly walked to it and sat down and began to play. Even today when I listen to his playing. I imagine myself once again, under the starry skies on that beautiful Monterey summer night sky and transport myself in time and place. How fortunate for me that I have such a lovely memory of his magical music!
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Without doubt one of the best violinist in his genre. Anyone who plays violin can certainly say how hard it is to produce all those ideas so clear and so in tune. Just a few reach that level
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guyt20
He's obviously talented, but I've seen other violinists that are more in tune.
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rickdavis604
Always stunninng in technique and heart.
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Truly great... must collect this of the great greats. Such beauty, technique and rich deliciousnes s .
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gypsy.viking 8 8 4
His solo on the recently re-released Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here is absolutely (I rarely use this word) DIVINE. A true master...
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another one of gods angels
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I saw him once very late in his career and he could still play with such skill and tenderness. A true master.
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The guy can seriously play the "fiddle"!!
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at1306
two words: sweet.lorrai n e .
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pay.ga
Saw Grappelli at Royce Hall, UCLA with the Diz Dizley trio. Fantastic. I loved the mix of old folks and young people groovin to the same tunes.
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No words do his music justice, would rather spend that time listening.
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NO one owns the jazz violin like Stephane Grapelli.
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One of my happiest memories is of a lovely June evening in 1986 at the Mountain Winery above Saratoga, CA with Stephane Grapelli and David Grisman. It was the night before my wedding, our last "single" date. What a great night of delightful music, and a perfect way to to begin our marriage.
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brienpalmer
The best! His music has a winning combination of versatility, energy and expertise. I could listen to him for hours.
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hiureader
grappelli is entwined beautifully in my life and my loves. i "bumped" into his music by coincidence (?) one day in 1979 in a record (remember them?) store in dallas. his best, and i defy someone to do it better, is his '78-ish "uptown dances", done with composer / arranger claus ogermann. find it. you will love it. glad to have seen this thread.
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rken_2001
fabulous-ent e r t a i n i n g far be on humaniod understandin g - t h e best of the best
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tedbujalski
.....hot jazz....yaoz z a !
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kellnj68
I was priveledged to see him perform twice before he hooked up again finally with Django. R.Hirsekorn,
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Most interesting was his filmed collaboratio n with Yehudi Menuhin, whose playing sounds rather stiff and stilted next to Shefane's lush and flowing style, and as much as admits his inferiority to the master of jazz technique on the violin. Grappelli never lost it, not even when he grew feeble with age! His touch will never be duplicated.
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Stephane played the part of the cat on a jazz/rock version of peter and the wolf with robin lumbley and others from brand X. It's a rare recording but worth the search!
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Django offered the "best" of gypsy swing jazz........ a n d one of the best I totally enjoy, playing his and "like music" is JOHN JORGENSON... l o o k him up and listen to his albums.....t r u l y great quintet, truly!!
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He played at least one album with Jean Luc Ponty.

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