Sweet Lorraine (not me, the song)

I discovered Stephane Grappelli, the jazz violin great, the day after his death in December of 1997. A bit late to the game, I suppose-- but NPR's Fresh Air was re-airing an interview and I heard, not just his amazing life story, but that distinctly unique sound of him playing violin with some definite swing to it. 

I had played the violin for years as a kid and through college, the usual classical and orchestra stuff. But when I heard Grappelli, I thought, "Wow, I want to play like that."

My old violin, which has been in my family for years.

My old violin, which has been in my family for years.

Well, seventeen or so years later, I'm finally working on it. It just so happens that trying to play like Grappelli is, well... not easy. So the last time I tried, years ago, I set it aside.

But I'm taking lessons again, and when I was struggling with Bach the other day, I decided to give myself a "break", and completely switch gears. We pulled out the Jazz Violin book of sheet music. I figured if I was going to try some Grappelli, that it almost seemed required to start with Sweet Lorraine.

I'm not sure if it's wishful thinking, but I can get a few bars to sound halfway right so far, and I'm thinking I might eventually be able to pull it off.

Lorraine HambyComment