The violin has had an honored place in jazz since the music's earliest days, but it has never had the legions of skilled players that reed, brass, and rhythm instruments attract. There have been at most a dozen truly distinguished jazz players on this demanding instrument. Two of the most remarkable team up here: Stephane Grappelli, a sophisticated Frenchman who expresses exquisite romanticism, and Stuff Smith, a master of blues and the art of swinging at any tempo. They are accompanied by the version of the Oscar Peterson Trio that many connoisseurs consider Peterson's finest. The rhythm section is reinforced by Jo Jones, the epitome of taste and swing on drums. The contrast between Grappelli's elegance and Smith's headlong drive is a delight to be savored.
with Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Jo Jones