Svend Asmussen: Embraceable

One thing you’ve gotta love about violinist Svend Asmussen;  he’s in love with swinging and he’s got a sound that is completely personal. On this collection from a 1985 Paris recording, Asmussen teams up with Georgew Arvanitas/p, Patrice Caratini/b and Charles Saudrais/dr for a joyful mix of standards and bon mots.

Asmussen’s joyful approach to the violin is identifiable in his ability to mix gentle bows with a slap on the strings that is as striking as ringing a bell to start a boxing round. His stroke is displayed during the old world sound on “Husabye” as well as the mix of genteel and assertive attack on “Sophisticated Lady” where romantic sways are preceded by a bounce of the bow on the strings. He also knows how to milk a melody as he goes bel canto on”June Night” and “Just a Gigolo” while Saudrais’ brushes deliver a soft shoe like Astaire on “Prelude n C-Minor” and Arvanitas frollicks on “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be.” A fun reading of “Pent-Up House” and a crying “Embraceable You’ reveal a style of delivery that is lost on this day of notes for notes sake. This guy uses the colors on the palate to create true works of art.

Storyville Records

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