Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Like Fine Wine
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 04/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"STEPHANE GRAPPELLI - Violin, Electric Viola
JOHN ETHERIDGE - Guitar
MARTIN TAYLOR - Guitar
JACK SEWING - BassThis album corresponds well with the DVD of Grappelli in San Francisco. Many of the same tunes are played, although Etheridge replaces Diz Dizley on rhythm guitar (an improvement in my opinion). Recorded live at the Paul Mason Winery in Saratoga, California in September of 1980, Grappelli here is 72 years old and playing as superbly as ever. It's quite fitting that Grappelli played at the winery at this point in his life, since he aged like a fine wine and produced some of his greatest work as a senior citizen. The only thing I didn't care for was the use of the electric viola on Taking A Chance On Love and Willow Weep For Me. Not that his playing wasn't great, but nothing compares to the tone of his acoustic violin. But Grappelli was never one to rest on his laurels. He was always interested in learning and trying new approaches to music, and I suppose the occasional experimentation with electric viola represents that. One departure in this recording is the third tune - Angel's Camp - composed by lead guitarist Martin Taylor in reference to a location east of Stockton, California where Grappelli occasionally played. Taylor's guitar work here is foundational to the tune and tastefully done as always. Minor Swing is one of my favorite Grappelli/Reinhardt tunes. This arrangement with Taylor and Etheridge's dueling guitars gives it a different feel from other recordings I've heard. Nicely done. Grappelli always seemed to shine in front of a crowd, and his crowds were never more inspirational or appreciative of his genius than the fine people of the bay area (possibly because of the popularity there of the David Grisman Quintet, with whom Grappelli toured a year earlier) around 1980. They really loved the man, as this recording clearly shows. Do yourself a favor if you buy this album and get the San Francisco DVD."