Maybe you’ve seen some of our previous jazz faceoffs. Ella Fitzgerald versus Sarah Vaughan. Chick Corea versus Hank Jones. Dave Young vs. Eddie Gomez. If you have, you’ll know it’s a cutthroat business, since only one performer can emerge the victor. It all comes down to this: who performs with the most stunning technique? Whose interpretation has the most heart? And the ultimate criteria – who do more people vote for?
Today, we put two masters of an instrument rarely featured in jazz – the violin – against each other, performing the great jazz standard “How High the Moon.”
In one corner, we have Stéphane Grappelli (1908-1997), who founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France with guitarist Django Reinhardt in 1934. Grappelli has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists.”
In the other, Joe Venuti (1903-1978), performing on the Dick Cavett Show no less. Venuti has also been called “the grandfather of jazz violinists.”
So it’s grandpa-à-grandpa combat, which makes it only right that neither man was a spring chicken when these videos were made. But both still have “it,” as you’ll hear.
Personally, I feel Venuti has more of it in his performance, by virtue of how he swings so hard, but I am staying out of the voting (if not the attempted vote influencing). You, on the other hand, go ahead and cast your vote in the survey that follows the videos.
Jazz Faceoff: Sarah Vaughan vs Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz Faceoff: Hank Jones vs. Chick Corea
Jazz Faceoff: Dave Young vs. Eddie Gomez
on Jul 19, 2012