William Palmer

Music to Make You Smile

Stéphane Grappelli: With and Without Django


Sanctuary 428pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

STÉPHANE GRAPPELLI WAS born in 1908 and died in 1997. He started playing the violin as a child and carried on virtually up to his death. He was a master of his art, a musician who continually improved throughout his life, which was led in as blameless a way as most mortals can manage. All of which is a bit odd considering his chosen profession, that of a jazz player.

Let us consider four of the greatest jazz musicians: Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Colernan Hawkins and Charlie Parker. All of them, apart fiom Armstrong, were alcoholics (combined in Parker's case with drug-taking and womanising on an epic scale).

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