Stéphane Grappelli & Claude Bolling: Cute




Stéphane Grappelli (violin) and Claude Bolling (piano)


Bolling / Grappelli: First Class (Milan 35633-2)

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Stéphane Grappelli (violin), Claude Bolling (piano),

17-piece big band featuring Pierre Schirrer (flute), Pierre-Yves Sorin (bass), Vincent Cordelette (drums)


Composed by Neal Hefti. Arranged by Claude Bolling


Recorded: Paris, December 3-4, 1991


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Better late than never. Not only was this session Stéphane Grappelli's only recording with a big band, this track also finds him playing a tune he may never have performed before and sharing the spotlight with a flutist, perhaps another first. Bolling's arrangement is, as Grappelli shouts out at the end of another selection on the CD, "First class!" Bassist Sorin and drummer Cordelette lay down a driving foundation for the stirring improvisations of Grappelli and flutist Schirrer, and the orchestra plays its fanfares and intricate unison passages with gusto and a velvety blend of instruments. "Cute" is but one of 14 delicious tracks on a remarkable CD that as a whole is a unique must-have from Grappelli's lengthy discography (a DVD version is available as well).

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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