“PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS”: STEPHANE GRAPPELLI, LEE KONITZ, JIMMIE ROWLES, JOHN ETHERIDGE, DIZ DIZLEY, JACK SEWING at NICE (July 1978)

This set, blessedly preserved, reminds me of inventive restaurant cuisine, where one reads a listing of items one doesn’t expect to find together . . . but the result is surprising and memorable: music that tastes good to the ear. Violinist Stephane Grappelli’s group was patterned after the Quintette of the Hot Club of France — violin, two guitars, string bass — although he, not Django, was the star . . . with guitarists John Etheridge and Diz Dizley, string bassist Jack Sewing, whom I initially mis-identified as Brian Torff. Add to this established group the wondrous individualists Jimmie Rowles, piano, and Lee Konitz, alto saxophone, and unusual sounds result.

Whether everyone dispersed after the set saying, “Wow, that was fun!” or “Why can’t I pick my own friends to perform with?” I have no idea, but the three-quarters of an hour that we have is certainly not formulaic. You can do your own assessment: late-period Stephane, still rhapsodic, given to heroically fast tempos, playing “jazz standards,”; Lee Konitz and Jimmie Rowles on top of a QHCF rhythm team. I think the assemblage is both unpredictable and wonderful:

Stephane Grappelli, violin; Diz Dizley, John Etheridge, guitars; Jack Sewing, string bass.
I WONDER WHERE MY BABY IS TONIGHT / DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS / CRAZY RHYTHM / I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE /

add Lee Konitz HONEYSUCKLE ROSE

add Jimmie Rowles LET’S FALL IN LOVE / I’LL REMEMBER APRIL /

Grappelli Quartet: MANOIR DE MES REVES – DAPHNE /

Konitz, Rowles return SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (incomplete on original):

Bless these players, and bless the Grande Parade du Jazz also.

2 responses to ““PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS”: STEPHANE GRAPPELLI, LEE KONITZ, JIMMIE ROWLES, JOHN ETHERIDGE, DIZ DIZLEY, JACK SEWING at NICE (July 1978)

  1. Red Sullivan

    Thank you very much for this! Here’s another “summit” – this time Stéphane’s long-standing “last” trio {Marc Fosset, gtr. and Jean-Phillipe Viret, double-bass} at The Marciac Festival {South of France} August 1991, meet Gerry Mulligan – only a glimpse I’m sorry to say: It’s what they put out on that very night’s National French News Broadcast! I recall that Stéphane’s Trio played the first set and then Mulligan joined in for, I believe, two tunes, before the interval and then a full concert by the Mulligan Quartet of the time {I’m thinking either Bill Mays, Bill Charlap or Ted Rosenthal with Dean Johnson on bass and the sadly departed drummer – he left us at such an young age and sure played beautiful, Dave Ratajezak. If not Ratajezak – then Ron Vincent: These last Mulligan Quartets were transcendently beautiful: He had definitely entered into a “final period” of poetic serenity. Not many musicians get to arrive unto this stage of transcendence: Getz did and so did Mulligan!

  2. Red Sullivan

    I forgot the oh so important link! Herewith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us4AcQBzeWI

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