Captain Fiddle Music

Ryan and Brennish


Claude Williams John Stewart

tape review

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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.

Written by Ryan Thomson