Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hardbopjazz

Stephane Grappelli, any thoughts on him?

33 posts in this topic

My only knowledge of his playing, is that of the work he did with Django and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. He had a real long life, and did record a lot after his time with Django. What would be a good session to pick up of his post Django works?

Edited by Hardbopjazz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a disc with just him and McCoy Tyner, I think it's called "One on One," and that's really nice. Two masters at work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally he is far away from being a favourite of mine. With all the respect to his tremendous contribution to violin in jazz, just couldn't enjoy his improvisations to much.

But since my early days I was a Joe Pass fan and that is why I bought the next cd

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=9884

Joe was an emphatic player and a specialist in special settings like this "drumless" one. Pedersen is mind blowing and together they make a great team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't emphasize this enough. Pick up the 79' session Young Django. Grappelli is backed by Philip Catherine and Larry Coryell on guitars, and NHOP on bass. Grappelli is in very fine form. Catherine and Coryell play beautifully, both individually and collectively. Of course NHOP is impeccable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the album w/Gary Burton and Have A Nice Day! :g

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, there are great, truly great, players whose vibe I'm just not into, and Grappelli is one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a great Grappelli follower either.. he's definitely a swinging improvisor, but perhaps a bit too 'legit' for my taste. I prefer gutsier players like Stuff Smith.

Grappelli recorded prolifically, but one that might be worth a listen is

Oscar Peterson, Stephane Grappelli Quartet ( Niels H. O. Pederson and Kenny Clarke make up the quartet.)

The CD was on Accord 403292, but may well be OOP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't emphasize this enough. Pick up the 79' session Young Django. Grappelli is backed by Philip Catherine and Larry Coryell on guitars, and NHOP on bass. Grappelli is in very fine form. Catherine and Coryell play beautifully, both individually and collectively. Of course NHOP is impeccable.

Yep. This is a good one. Of the Grappellis I have, its the one I return to most often (which isn't all that often actually).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a great fan of Grappelli sans Django.

There is one Grappelli album I definitelyl would recommend:

Stephane Grappelli '1992 Live'. A Birdology release of a concert with the great Philippe Catherine and Marc Fosset on guitar plus NHOP on bass.

Beautiful renditions of some classics like 'Minor Swing' and 'Stella By Starlight' plus a stellar version of Catherine's 'Galerie des Princes'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two fo my favorite post-Django Grappelli efforts are his 1973 reunion with trumpeter Bill Coleman, which is on CD but HTF, and his live album with mandolinist David Grisman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, there are great, truly great, players whose vibe I'm just not into, and Grappelli is one of them.

I know what you mean, but on the other hand I really dig Stuff Smith and Joe Venuti. Go figure, huh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't emphasize this enough. Pick up the 79' session Young Django. Grappelli is backed by Philip Catherine and Larry Coryell on guitars, and NHOP on bass. Grappelli is in very fine form. Catherine and Coryell play beautifully, both individually and collectively. Of course NHOP is impeccable.

Another great :tup for this one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of fun in the ´65 session with Stuff Smith "Stuff and Steff", included in the Jazz in Paris series (JIP 82).

I also dig another Grappelli album also included as JIP 42 "Improvisations" with Pierre Michelot (b), Baptiste Reillies (d) and Maurice Vander (p).

On the other hand, I don´t return very frequently to "Menuhin and Grappelli play Berlin, Kern, Porter and Rodgers&Hart" which, in fact, was the first Grappelli without Django that I got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a guy named Tim Kliphouse (Kliphuis...dutch I think), who captures the Hot Club Grappelli style very well. He performs with various gypsy jazz players (and sometimes in other contexts as well, I believe). I have him on Fapy Lafertin's recent cd "Fine and Dandy" which is magnificent. Fapy is an amazing Django style player, who also brings his own styleto it as well. I highly recommend this cd for a modern day sample of the classic Hot Club sound.

I think Tim is coming to Birdland NYC this fall as part of their Django tribute. I wish Fapy would venture over here as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see Grappelli as a really talented musician who can be exciting but who often sounds to me like he's "coasting," relying on pet licks and a schtick. Having said that, his sound is unmistakeable - no small feat - and he's played on some very fine dates and at his best can generate a breathtaking excitement in his soloing.

Check out the Universal Jazz in Paris reissue of the session he co-led with Stuff Smith EKE BBB mentions if you want to have a 40-minute smile on your face...while I find myself giving the nod to Stuff for solo honors, Grappelli works a lot harder than he often seemed to and it pays off. If this one doesn't get your foot tapping, check your pulse!

His session with Baden Powell on Barclay is also a real gem, more relaxed than the Stuff Smith blowout but no less excellent and you get vintage Baden Powell guitar to boot.

The live one with Pass mentioned earlier is superb, too.

Edited by DrJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Count me as another fan of "Young Django" - I love that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A CD I like quite a lot is "Stephane Grappelli/Hank Jones - London Meeting" on theString label.

The first 8 tracks have Stephane, Hank, Jimmie Woode and Alan Dawson.

Tracks 9-11 have Stephane, Roland Hanna, Bucky Pizzarelli, George Duvivier, and Oliver Jackson.

This is a highly tasty outing by all concerned.

Peter F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He projected an incredible joy in his playing, pure efffortless swing; I thought he was wonderful, both times I was able to see him live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a great Grappelli follower either.. he's definitely a swinging improvisor, but perhaps a bit too 'legit' for my taste. I prefer gutsier players like Stuff Smith.

Grappelli recorded prolifically, but one that might be worth a listen is

Oscar Peterson, Stephane Grappelli Quartet ( Niels H. O. Pederson and Kenny Clarke make up the quartet.)

The CD was on Accord 403292, but may well be OOP.

An interesting contrast between Grappelli and Stuff Smith can be found on a Pablo release of four tracks they did together in 1957, called "Violins No End." I also prefer Smith to Grappelli, finding the latter too sweet, although very easy to listen to. The band is good, too: Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Jo Jones. (The final 3 tracks have Grappelli only).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grappelli has been one of my favorites for some time and I'll probably add his music to my collection until the day I collect no more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a great Grappelli follower either.. he's definitely a swinging improvisor, but perhaps a bit too 'legit' for my taste. I prefer gutsier players like Stuff Smith.

Grappelli recorded prolifically, but one that might be worth a listen is

Oscar Peterson, Stephane Grappelli Quartet ( Niels H. O. Pederson and Kenny Clarke make up the quartet.)

The CD was on Accord 403292, but may well be OOP.

An interesting contrast between Grappelli and Stuff Smith can be found on a Pablo release of four tracks they did together in 1957, called "Violins No End." I also prefer Smith to Grappelli, finding the latter too sweet, although very easy to listen to. The band is good, too: Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Jo Jones. (The final 3 tracks have Grappelli only).

Actually I believe the final three tracks are Stuff Smith only (my copy of Violins No End just turned up).

He does seem most interested when "pushed" a bit by a strong second instrument or indeed a violin duet. I am was still waiting on Violins No End, but have been listening to the JiP Stuff and Steff. The MPS date Violin Summit is quite good, and the violin/mandolin pairing in Grappelli & Grisman is interesting. Not as interesting when all the backing instruments go electric, as in Ponty/Grappelli. Some people really like Uptown Dance, but I'm not that taken with it (Dusty Groove had a somewhat beat LP I just transferred). It's very easy listening, perhaps a precursor to smooth jazz. That said, it is surprising the label didn't release it on CD as it might have done quite well. Probably too late now. C'est la vie.

Edited by ejp626

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My attitude about Grappelli depends a great deal on the other players on the recording.

Here are some CDs of his that I like.

Meets Earl Hines - Black Lion

Parisian Thoroughfare (with Roland Hanna, George Mraz, Mel Lewis) - Black Lion

& Michel Petrucciani - Dreyfus

& Stuff Smith - Stuff And Steff - Gitanes

& McCoy Tyner - One On One - Milestone

& Martial Solal - Happy Reunion - Owl

& Stuff Smith - Violins No End - Pablo

& Hank Jones - London Meeting - String

Edited by Peter Friedman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ate eggs with him one morning in a hotel diner. Nice guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My attitude about Grappelli depends a great deal on the other players on the recording.

Here are some CDs of his that I like.

Meets Earl Hines - Black Lion

Parisian Thoroughfare (with Roland Hanna, George Mraz, Mel Lewis) - Black Lion

& Michel Petrucciani - Dreyfus

& Stuff Smith - Stuff And Steff - Gitanes

& McCoy Tyner - One On One - Milestone

& Martial Solal - Happy Reunion - Owl

& Stuff Smith - Violins No End - Pablo

& Hank Jones - London Meeting - String

What do you think of the two Black Lion CDs with Barney Kessel? Kessel seems a strong enough voice to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An absolutely wonderful date that I've owned for years on LP (and that I've transferred to CD-R) is his meeting with Gary Burton, Steve Swallow and Bill Goodwin (Atlantic, released in '72). Looking at Amazon.com, it appears that the official CD must be out of print as it is priced out of the ballpark. Really excellent, however.

41RRW287DVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Edited by MartyJazz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.