Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997) was a French-Italian jazz violinist and jazz pianist. He is most well known for his collaboration with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Grappelli also played with many other great musicians including jazz pianist Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, and violinists Eddie South, Stuff Smith, Svend Asmussen, Yehudi Menuhin, and Joe Venuti. Throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Grappelli was constantly re-inventing his playing style to stay relevant. It wasn’t until 1970 that his performing career took off again. He began touring the world. Grappelli continued to perform and record until his death at age 89 in 1997.
Joe Venuti (1903-1978) was an Italian jazz violinist. He and jazz guitarist Eddie Lang are credited with being the first musicians to play violin guitar jazz. After Lang’s early death in 1933 Venuti played with various groups. In the 1940s and 1950s Joe Venuti’s star began to fade and he suffered from alcoholism. He was “re-discovered” in 1967 and resumed regular performances and made many recordings until his death in 1978 from lung cancer.
Here are two pieces from a recording that Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti made together in 1969 called “Venupelli Blues.” The first piece is called “Venupelli Blues” (a word that combines the last names of both violinists) and the second is a jazz standard called “After You’ve Gone.” I hope that you enjoy this music. The other musicians playing with Grappelli and Venuti on the recording are Barney Kessel on guitar and George Wein on piano. They are part of a supporting four-piece rhythm section.
Stéphane Grappelli (1908-1997)
Stéphane Grappelli was a French-Italian jazz violinist and jazz pianist. Today he is most well known for his work with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France which he founded together with gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Throughout his long career Grappelli collaborated with several violinists (Ray Nance, Stuff Smith, Svende Asmussen, Jean-Luc Ponty, Svend Asmussen, Yehudi Menuhin, Joe Venuti) and other musicians including Marc Fosset, Joe Pass, and Oscar Peterson. He is best known for his jazz violin playing. Grappelli also played jazz piano at a very high level. Here is a clip of Stéphane Grappelli playing the piano. I hope that you enjoy it.
Bossa nova was invented and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a fusion of the samba and jazz. Composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa invented the form and helped to popularize it.
Baden Powell de Aquino (1937-2000)
Baden Powell de Aquino was a Brazilian guitarist and composer. He was one of the most prominent an popular Brazilian guitarists of his time. Baden Powell de Aquino played a variety of different styles of music including bossa nova, samba, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz, and popular Brazilian music.
Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997)
Stephane Grappelli was a French-Italian jazz violinist who co-founded the Quintet of the Hot Club of France with Django Reinhardt in 1934. Today he is most famous for his collaboration with Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Stephane recorded and performed with many well known musicians besides Django Reinhardt including Yehudi Menuhin, Stuff Smith, Jean-Luc Ponty, Andrew Llloyd Weber (cellist), Martin Taylor, Joe Pass, and Oscar Peterson.
Even though Stephane Grappelli is well known today as a jazz violinist, he was also an accomplished jazz pianist. During the years of world war 2, Grappelli and Reinhardt split up and played with different groups. During this time Grappelli played a lot of jazz piano. After world war 2 Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France got back together briefly during the late 1940s and then disbanded.
Here are two recordings of Stephane Grappelli and Baden Powell de Aquino playing a couple of bossa novas from a 1975 recording entitled la grande reunion. They are entitled Meditacao and Eu Vim Fa bahia. I hope that you enjoy this music.
Freddy Taylor was a jazz singer, trumpet player, band leader, guitarist, and dancer. He came to Paris from New York with the Lucky Millander orchestra on a tour in 1933. He worked with the orchestra for about a decade. During that time he took trumpet lessons from Bill Coleman. While he was in Paris in the 1930s, Freddy met up with Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. They made recordings together. Freddy Taylor also had his own group called Freddy Taylor and His Swing Men from Harlem. In the 1940s Freddy came back to the U.S.A. and continued performing until the late 1960s.
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France was formed by gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grapelli in 1934. During the period before World War 2 the group was very popular and made hundreds of recordings. In the war years Django and Stephane split up and played with other groups. They met up again briefly after World War 2 and made some more recordings. Django Reinhardt died in 1953 and the group was disbanded. Stephane Grappelli had some difficult times and in the 1970s he became popular again. He performed and recorded with lots of musicians (jazz and classical) and toured around the world until his death in 1996.
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” is a popular jazz standard. Django Reinhardt, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and jazz singer Freddy Taylor recorded it in 1947. Here is their recording of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Enjoy.
“After You’ve Gone” is a popular jazz standard written in 1918 by Turner Layton. Henry Creamer wrote the lyrics. Django Reinhardt recorded “After You’ve Gone” three times (in 1934, 1936, and 1949). Here is a recording of the song by Django Reinhardt, the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and jazz singer Freddy Taylor. Enjoy.
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France
The Quintet of the Hot Club of France was a string jazz group made up of three guitars, a violin, and a bass. It was originally formed in 1934 after a series of informal backstage jam sessions. The quintet was a unique jazz group because it was made up of an interesting combination of instruments and it invented a style of jazz known as “gypsy jazz” or “hot jazz.” Over the years the quintet went through many different rhythm guitarists and bass players but the two main players (Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli) remained the same. From 1934 until the beginning of the war in 1939 the quintet made hundreds of recordings and toured Europe many times. The quintet was disbanded in 1939. In 1946 Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt teamed up together again and formed another quintet. This post-war quintet lasted from 1946 until 1948.
Here is a recording done by the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1937 of a jazz standard called the “Sheik of Araby.” Enjoy!