Storyville Records

Grappelli, Stephane

Stéphane Grappelli (26 January 1908 – 1 December 1997) was a French jazz violinist who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934. It was one of the first all-string jazz bands. He has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists" and continued playing concerts around the world well into his 80s. For the first three decades of his career, he was billed using a gallicised spelling of his last name, Grappelly, reverting to "Grappelli" in 1969. The latter, Italian, spelling is now used almost universally when referring to the violinist – even on reissues of his early work.

Recordings

Stephane Grappelli / Diz Disley: Stephane Grappelli Live At Corby Festival May, 1975

The music on this CD (16 tunes-78 minutes) is a from a previously unreleased live concert in England in 1975. Stephane Grappelli is best know for his collaboration in the thirties and forties with the famous gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Diz Disley plays guitar in the tradition of Django, but has his own style, and the fact that the band on this CD consists exclusively of string instruments makes it reminiscent of Django's famous Hot Club Quintette, of which Grappelli was a prominent member. In his seventies at the time of this recording, Grappelli, musically, is younger and more inspired than ever, and his playing is fiery and clear and full of virtuoso improvisation. This CD is testimony to Grappelli's basic principals: "Improvisation is another form of composition. It's fresh. Also, one must try to think young in this life."