Stephane Grappelli - Stephane Grappelli Plays Jerome Kern [GRP Records GR-1032] (1987)

Released: 1987
Country: US
Label: GRP Records
Catalog: GR-1032
Genre: Jazz, Swing

Item# SR-GRGR1032
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

Note: Promotional copy - stamped on back cover

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
02 The Way You Look Tonight
03 A Fine Romance
04 Yesterdays
05 Ol' Man River
06 All The Things You Are
07 Pick Yourself Up
08 I Won't Dance
09 Long Ago And Far Away

Stephane Grappelli Plays Jerome Kern
Stephane Grappelli

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Album Review

Ken Dryden []

Jazz violin great Stephane Grappelli made several albums accompanied by strings, though this session from the late '80s is the most satisfying of them all. Grappelli, who is joined by his regular collaborators on guitars (Martin Taylor and Marc Fossett) and bassist Jack Sewing, along with a rotating cast of three drummers, focuses exclusively on the works of Jerome Kern (with orchestrations by Laurie Holloway, Daniel Freiberg, or Jorge Calandrelli) with Ettore Stratta conducting. ''Long Ago (And Far Away)'' swings softly awash in strings, featuring Taylor and Fossett (who sings in unison with his solos). The violinist captures the melancholy air of ''Yesterdays'' in an easygoing bossa nova setting, while the relaxed tempo of ''All the Things You Are'' brings its lyricism to the forefront, featuring thoughtful solos by Taylor and Grappelli. The violinist loved to play piano whenever he had the opportunity; in ''Long Ago (And Far Away)'' he plays the piano introduction and brief tag, in addition to soloing on his main instrument. This is one of the better jazz-with-strings projects, due in part to the tasty solos and thoughtful background scores accompanying the jazz instrumentalists.