Stéphane Grappelli & Oscar Peterson: Them There Eyes


Them There Eyes


Stéphane Grappelli (violin) and Oscar Peterson (piano)


Oscar Peterson / Stéphane Grappelli Quartet, Vol. 1 (Verve 013028)

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Stéphane Grappelli (violin), Oscar Peterson (piano).

Composed by Maceo Pinkard, William Tracey & Doris Tauber


Recorded: Paris, February 22-23, 1973


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Stéphane Grappelli was extremely active in 1973, with at least eight recording sessions that year alone, and the date with Oscar Peterson was probably the best. Peterson was in the rhythm section for the 1957 Violins No End album that featured Grappelli and Stuff Smith, but it wasn't until 1973 that Stéphane and Oscar got to go at each other one on one, as on this duet track (Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Kenny Clarke filled out the quartet elsewhere). Peterson's rollicking intro precipitates Grappelli's sizzling entrance, immediately improvising on the melody. His breakneck lines are beautifully structured, with many engaging riffs sprinkled about. Peterson's following solo is very bluesy, with a ringing tone and a great variety to his attack as he builds in intensity and creativity, very cogent and controlled. The violinist takes the out-choruses swinging hard, again using catchy riffs to great effect, ending with another highly embellished reprise of the theme. Grappelli always regretted not getting to the U.S. before one of his early inspirations, Art Tatum, passed away. Peterson was as close as Stéphane would get to that great pianist's style, and one can sense the excitement he felt at this opportunity, which Peterson clearly reciprocated.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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