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Ben Powell: New Street

There is something about the tone, the delicate but assured touch, the unique vibrato and soaring filigrees of Ben Powell’s violin playing that immediately conjure up memories of Stephane Grappelli. It’s apparent in the warmly lyrical ballad “Judith” that opens this impressive collection by Powell’s quartet (pianist Tadataka Unno, bassist Aaron Darrell and drummer Devin Drobka), but even more evident in three trio tunes featuring vibraphonist Gary Burton and guitarist Julian Lage: the lilting “Gary,” written for the vibes great by Grappelli in 1969; the wistful ballad “La Chanson des Rues”; and Grappelli’s swinging “Piccadilly Stomp.”

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