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  • Samuel Chell wrote on October 03, 2010 report

    Great discussion. And it's refreshing to see candid, unqualified acknowledgement of the music's African-American heritage. The article provoked me to return to "Venupelli Blues" after a number of years. If you can overlook the relative scarcity of flatted 5ths in much blues playing before the so-called "hard bop" style of the '50s, it's an instructive recording, honoring these venerable, seminal masters and the form itself.

  • Ian Patterson wrote on October 06, 2010 report

    Hi Sam, thanks. Christian is a very interesting guy for sure and thought provoking. He's also about as good a violinist as you're ever likely to hear. Glad to hear you went back to Venuti/Grappelli's "Venupelli Blues" - that's a favorite of mine - so beautiful! Strongly recommended listening.

  • Samuel Chell wrote on October 08, 2010 report

    It's a revealing contrast, demonstrating the respective strengths of both players. Another especially strong session is the '75 meeting between Joe and Earl Hines. Fatha is so full of surprises on "C Jam Blues" that he pushes Joe to use his whole repertory of tricks (including the 4-string bow wrap) and come up with some new ones in answer to the nasty challenge from Hines. What's perhaps surprising is that some listeners still view the instrument as a "novelty" in jazz--even after the trail left by guys like Joe and Claude Fiddler Williams, and now the commanding, expressive swing of Christian. (Apart from Ellington, is there another big-band leader who didn't see fiddles as mere window-dressing?)