Skip to content

Tim Steil Takes The Musical Challenge: “STEPHANE GRAPPELLI – JEAN LUC PONTY”

Ten albums #3

A rare treasure, bought from a remainders mail order catalog probably 1978. $1.99 I believe.

I had been messing with the fiddle long enough to play in public. Dances and at festivals etc. Old timey string band stuff. Once you get it going, it’s like a locomotive. I was consumed by it. Yet there was always something about the violin that haunted me. That fat, sweet sound, where the thing just sings. Rick Veras has it. The fink.

I was already a huge fan of Grappelli from his work with Django and the Hot Club. Got to see him live at Charlotte’s Web.

Ponty I knew from his work with Zappa and whatever made it onto late night FM. So, when I saw this it was like worlds colliding.

WTF? I mean OK, they’re both French – it could work, but come from such different musical universes its unholy to put them together.

Rumor has it Grappelli had never heard the tune before they recorded this. Ponty just played the first little line, and Grappelli nodded silently.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in a Columbian haze playing along with this tune, trying to steal even just a sliver of it, but alas, never got much farther than the main melody line, a joy unto itself.

So? Dig.

Stephane Grappelli on the violin
Jean-Luc-Ponty on the electric violin.

Headphones are your friend here.

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Brushes With Greatness: SohoJohnny Meets Mickey Burns And Al Bandiero

By Iman Lababedi | May 25, 2022 |

an old school New York feel

Movie Roles Elvis Presley Turned Down!

By Iman Lababedi | May 25, 2022 |

oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral

Press Releases For May: Here Are The Artists

By Alyson Camus | May 25, 2022 |

An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)

By Steve Crawford | May 24, 2022 |

From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!

US Top 10 Singles Tracking 5-13-22 – 5-19-22

By Iman Lababedi | May 24, 2022 |

one of the great top tens of the 2020

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Announce 2023 International Tour

By Iman Lababedi | May 24, 2022 |

will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates

Brief Encounters: New Albums 5-20-22 – 5-26-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | May 24, 2022 |

enjoyable and soulful romp

Just Like Heaven, Saturday May 21st 2022

By Alyson Camus | May 24, 2022 |

another full day of music

US Top 10 Albums Tracking 5-13-22 – 5-19-22

By Iman Lababedi | May 23, 2022 |

his weakest album to date

Going Steady: New Singles 5-20-22 – 5-26-22 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | May 23, 2022 |

hoedown, snappy , country slappy

Scroll To Top