Will sent me a French language documentary about Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. I’m very fond of them both, but I must admit to being more of a fan of Reinhardt, even though my understanding is that it was Grappelli who really influenced Reinhardt. Sadly, there isn’t much on YouTube featuring Reinhardt. Part of the problem is that he died so young. Grappelli lived to be almost 90 years old, and he was performing almost to the end.
I remember my first introduction to Grappelli. I was at a garage sale and there was Paul Simon for one dollar. This must have been around 1980. I had never been much of a Simon and Garfunkel fan. But that first Paul Simon solo album was something entirely different. And on that album was an instrumental, “Hobo’s Blues” with Simon on guitar and Grappelli on violin. It was my first indication that those French had something special to offer.
Here is a nice international trio: Martin Taylor on guitar from England, Jon Burr on bass from America, and Stéphane Grappelli on violin from you know where. And they are playing in Australia. And they are doing the Rodgers and Hart classic, “Blue Moon.”