Vol. 15 (2019) Frank Murphy: Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club Quintet

150 150 International Society for Jazz Research

Frank Murphy

Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club Quintet

Early writing about jazz was frequently limited to matters of a biographical or discographical nature, but the situation has fortunately improved. Jazz research today shows a better understanding of the functioning of the music and the conceptual aims of improvisation; it is hoped that this publication will contribute to the latter area.

This study is dedicated to the work of the French violinist and pianist Stéphane Grappelli, specifically to a series of recordings made between 1934 and 1948 with the H.C.Q. (Hot Club Quintet). The quintet was singular in its instrumentation, lacking drums but compensating with two rhythm guitarists; a double bassist and two soloists of note – Grappelli and guitarist Django Reinhardt – rounded out the ensemble. The analyses of Grappelli’s musical style during his time with the H.C.Q. will provide interesting insight into his style and contribute to a greater understanding.