Violinist Eddie South was one of the first -- if not the first -- to incorporate the violin into swing-era music, but Stuff Smith, Stéphane Grappelli, and Joe Venuti get most of the credit. Veteran string player Jeremy Cohen aims to rectify that situation via this wonderful set of tunes that South performed, with a slight touch of bebop and spirituality thrown in. As South adapted to the times before he passed away in 1962, Cohen and his expert professional band play the standards, swing, and hot jazz identified with the early period of the music, but with a fresh perspective that is not jaded or unfashionable. Dr. Billy Taylor's influence and presence are also felt or heard on his compositions like the basic "Mad Monk" or the bop swinger "Dr. Groove." Cohen is a relaxed violinist (a former student of Itzhak Perlman) who does not exploit his instrument, but instead allows it to do the talking for itself in parsed phrases. He and the band play "Yesterdays" and "Rose Room" like they were born to do it, while "Idaho" -- an adaptation of "Back Home in Indiana" -- seems simply rendered, but is a tougher draw that it might seem. "Eddie's Blues," which South did with Django Reinhardt, really brings the music into focus, while the other tracks extend the legacy of the so-called "Dark Angel" in a realm anyone can relate to, no matter the generation. This San Francisco-based band also features the arranger and pianist Larry Dunlap, a hero in his own right, while the masterful drummer Harold Jones keeps things moving along nicely. If you like this brand of vintage jazz, this recording will knock your socks off, and comes highly recommended to all.
Performance CreditsViolinjazz Primary Artist
Jeremy Cohen Violin,Group Member
Larry Dunlap Piano,Group Member
Harold Jones Percussion,Guest Appearance
Jim Kerwin Double Bass,Group Member
Dix Bruce Guitar,Group Member
Andrea Liguori Piano,Guest Appearance
Technical CreditsJeremy Cohen Liner Notes
Anthony Barnett Photo Courtesy
Victor Ledin Recording Producer
Daniel Shores Engineer
Marina Ledin Recording Producer
Brandon Bloodworth Art Direction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Music of Eddie South based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The late violinist Eddie South (1904-1962) may not have the name recognition of peers like Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti, but the Louisiana-born musician was every bit their equal. South had a gorgeous tone and impeccable phrasing, and could play anything from classical to jazz, but the pervasive racism of the era in which he achieved artistic maturity prevented any hopes of a commercial breakthrough. South was frequently recorded during his lifetime, but sadly, there appear to be only a couple of CD compilations of his work currently in print. Contemporary jazz violinist Jeremy Cohen felt so moved by this neglect that he released this tribute album to help focus attention on South's legacy. Cohen's approach was simple: round up a cracking band of like-minded musicians (guitarist Dix Bruce, bassist Jim Kerwin, pianist Larry Dunlop, drummer Harold Jones) and record a wide range of jazz and popular tunes associated with South. Their interpretations respect the spirit of the originals while spotlighting the unique characteristics of Cohen's own playing. The results are warm, sincere and swinging, and should inspire listeners to seek out recordings of the master himself. This is musical balm for the soul. Apply frequently for best results.