Martial Solal & Stéphane Grappelli: Nuages




Martial Solal (piano) and Stéphane Grappelli (violin)


Happy Reunion (Owl)

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Martial Solal (piano), Stéphane Grappelli (violin).

Composed by Django Reinhardt


Recorded: Paris, February 17-18, 1980


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Both are internationally known historical figures of French jazz. Each played with Django Reinhardt: Grappelli on their famed prewar recordings, Solal on Django's final 1953 studio session (where the Gypsy genius used an electric guitar). But they had never played together on record. What was to be expected from such a late meeting, taking place more than a quarter of a century after Django's death? The best! And it's obvious from the piano intro on. Solal wrote a dreamy impressionistic prelude to one of Django's most famous tunes, and when the violin enters on the theme itself, the piano alternates between this harmonic atmosphere, served by a beautiful touch, and a more rhythmic approach. Grappelli basically remains himself, halfway between a tradition that he comes from and a taste for innovation that has always been present in his improvisations and choice of partners. Solal also remains himself, playing around both the violin and the theme with respect towards each. He obviously has ventured farther from tradition than his elder, but his style is deeply rooted and can be highly melodic, as this track beautifully demonstrates.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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  • 1 John H. Reeves // Mar 10, 2009 at 07:26 PM
    All that is written above is as much as there needs to be there are no further words for it. I can only add that there is an unknown secret attached to the making of the record ( in brief - I am a collector of Jazz Violin ), In the late Seventies a collector friend mailed a paper containing the music of 'Stumbling' to me- I in turn mailed this to Stephane Grappelli and suggested that he might record the song sometime - since it was one of the first pieces of Jazz he had heard ( By Michaels Jazz Kings) along with 'Tea for Two', I have no confirmation that this piece of paper actually caused the making of the recording,But knowing Stephane as I did it was likely.