Updated Dec 5, 2023
Jazz Violin and Guitar Duets
by Ryan Thomson
[Global Village C 218 Jazz], cassette, Claude Williams and John Stewart
Claude Williams, born in 1908, was only recently rediscovered as one of the very few remaining original masters of jazz violin. After being away from full time performing for over thirty years he was invited in 1987 to perform with the "Masters of the Folk Violin Tour," sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
This cassette, recorded after the tour, shows off his improvisational skills on a number of swing classics such as "Take the "A" Train," and "Cherokee" along with some fiddle blues, and a cover of "Over the Rainbow." John Stewart provides strong yet understated rhythmic support on guitar, in a way which highlights the creative playing of Williams.
This recording is a must for the swing fiddle collector or player. Listeners who are unaccustomed to improvisational music and jazz may ask, "where's the melody?", but can rest assured that Williams states it at least once in every cut.