LE TOIT DE PARIS
Stephane Grappelli, violin
Raymond Fol, piano
Tony Ovio, guitar
Jack Sewing, bass
Andre Hartman, drums
Recorded in Paris on October 28, 1969
RCA Victor Gold Series
1. Rain Check
3. I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
5. What Am I Here For ?
9. Time On My Hands
13. So Long
This is a welcome re-release for Grappelli fans, featuring the violinist
in top form with a European rhythm section playing a mixture of standards,lesser
known tunes and originals. The session took place in 1969 whilst Grappelli
was semi - resident at The Paris Hilton ( from 1967 - 1972 ). At that
time he was employed to play in the restaurant for the benefit of
The disc is full of the expected charm and virtuosity and it is interesting
to hear the development of Stephane's ideas from his days with Django
Reinhardt. There is the same sense of effortless swing but there are
also overtones of the music that had evolved in the subsequent years.
In places one can hear quite modernistic passages particularly in
his revised use of the diminished scale and chord.
The accompaniment on this session is excellent and in the best of
taste . Although there is the odd solo from someone else, the whole
is very much a Stephane Grappelli occasion . His tone is full and
flowing and there is a vibrancy to his playing that became more apparent
in his maturity. His compositions on this set are poignant and reflective
and redolent with his Gallic personality. "Raincheck" is
one of Billy Strayhorn's lesser known tunes ( there is a great version
of it on Joe Henderson's "Lush Life" ) and Grappelli gives
a thoughtful interpretation of it on this session. The other Ellington
associated piece is also very good - "What Am I Here For",
which was an early feature for Ben Webster.
Overall this is a most attractive issue which is strong enough on
melody to appeal to those listeners who are not primarily Jazz followers.
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