JJ 04/91: Stephane Grappelli – Piano, My Other Love

Thirty years ago Ray Spencer thought Stephane Grappelli would do as a pub pianist. First published in Jazz Journal April 1991

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In the sleeve notes Nat Hentoff says that to make a solo album ‘a ceaselessly intriguing melodic and harmonic imagination as well as an authoritative sense of jazz time’ is required. He goes on to say with misleading exaggera­tion that Grappelli ‘has done all of this in a performance that trans­cends musical styles and trends.’

It is not clear who encouraged Stephane Grappelli to make a solo piano album; but whoever was responsible made a ghastly mistake.

Grappelli is a masterful violin­ist with great lyrical inventive­ness and an impeccable flow­ing style. It is a mystery that none of this was transferred to the piano. He has a modest piano technique going through each number in much the same way and mistaking syncopation for jazz feeling.

If you had never heard of Stephane Grappelli and you found him playing piano in your local pub you would not be surprised.

Discography
Three Little Words; Time After Time; Satin Doll; A Cottage For Sale; Ain’t Misbehavin’; You Bet­ter Go Now; What A Wonderful World; Looking At You; Two Sleepy People; Was That The Hu­man Thing To Do; Jacqueline; Tea For Two; A Foggy Day (In London Town); Stephane’s Blues For Abby; Ballade (53.51)
Stephane Grappelli (p). New York, 1990.
(CBS MK 46257)