“His natural successor” par Jazz Journal

“Celebrating the centenary of the great Stéphane Grappelli’s birth, this musical homage was first released in 2008 and has now been given a welcome reissue.  Curiously this is not Didier Lockwood’s first tribute to Grappelli; the first, Tribute to Stéphane Grappelli, was recorded in 2000 but this later recording is a much more lavish affair adorned by a host of guest artists, many with their own connections to the late violinist. Lockwood was feted by Grappelli, who called him his “grandson”, the older man perhaps regarding the younger as his natural successor, since Jean-Luc Ponty, surely the most eminent jazz violinist alive, was so taken with electronics. For anyone familiar with Grappelli’s work, this is a deserved tribute as the violinist was undoubtedly the finest exponent of the violin in jazz to date. Good as his peers are or were, they have never matched Grappelli’s sheer stylistic finesse and panache played with such apparent (but deceptive) insouciance. On this CD there are many moments which truly capture the spirit of Stéphane, none more so than on the deftly performed Honeysuckle Rose. The gimmicky scratchy 78rpm sound effect at the start of Sweet Georgia Brown only adds piquancy to its fiery swing. However, on As Time Goes By and contrary to all textual attributions in the CD booklet and tray Toots Thielemans, does not play guitar but harmonica – the instrument for which he is most renowned. The second CD contains two bonus tracks of music, the first an eastern sounding revisit to his 2003 album Globe-Trotter, the second, Bossa Pour Didier was composed by Grappelli for Lockwood. Also included on CD2 are ten short videos in French of some of the musicians involved in the project including Dee Dee Bridgwater, Toots Thielmans, Daniel Humair and Birelli Langrene. Five are of Lockwood himself (including one with footage of him accompanying Stéphane Grappelli). A seven page article on Lockwood plus three images of Grappelli are also included.”