on 7 November 2004
I've been a great fan of Stephane Grappelli ever since I listened to his work during the hotclub years with Django Reinhardt. This prompted me to buy his other works as well, one being a collection of songs where he collaborated with the great Yehudi Menuhin. First of all, this CD has a great collection of jazz songs, many which are more obscure than the usual golden age jazz standards. Hence immediately caught my eye.
The actual sounds of two violins interspersed with the odd piano, flute or guitar solo sounds amazingly refreshing. Stephane is his usual vibrant improvising self and yehudi clearly shows finesse in his art. Ultimately what brought the overall sound of the album down was that too many of the songs sounded way too similar, not enough was done to make them into unique stand alone songs. Thus adding a monotonous element to many of the songs. I felt they needed to play with the progressive elements of each song, in some instances they do, that is why their version of Jealousy is absolutely magical. The whole album seems to carry the sounds of airy romantism rather than the usual sound of Grappelli's earthy hotclub sound, which is fine as it offers a new perspective in his playing.
Unlike Grappelli's "Crazy Rhythm", I felt Grappelli and Yehudi may have played it a bit too safe through out the album, they really need to get down to the nitty gritty of making interestingly techanically vibrant music. In some cases they do a la Lady Good, Foggy Day. But I felt that they were a bit too conserved for my liking.
Overall, (despite my criticising!) this is a fantastic collection of songs for a great price. I suggest this for the more experianced Grappelli or Menuhin fan as I felt that I have heard them in better form.
on 8 February 2013
This is a great CD, and once again shows the exquisite talent of Stephane Grappelli. The selection of jazz tunes is excellent, however the lack of any back up musicians (bass, drums, etc.) in some of the selections, while focusing on the talent of Grappelli and Menuhin, does not give a 'full' sound to the track. All in all, however, I really liked this.