No new ground is broken on Tribute to Stephane Grappelli, but this love letter from one violinist to another is filled with soul, unashamed romanticism and superb playing.
Didier Lockwood is a virtuoso steeped in the Grappelli tradition, but more modern harmonically and rhythmically. Guitarist Bireli Lagrene serves as the perfect foil for this journey into the repertoires of Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. With support from bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, the results are almost flawless.
Gorgeous interpretations of tunes associated with Grappelli and Reinhardt, such as "Nuages" (RealAudio excerpt), "Les Valseuses" and "In a Sentimental Mood" (RealAudio excerpt) sit alongside a few unexpected choices. On "Pent Up House" (RealAudio excerpt), a Sonny Rollins tune, Lockwood's tone has enough bite to cope with the brisk tempo.
It's probably the classic "Nuages" that most people will turn to first, and Lockwood does not disappoint.