Svend Asmussen was 83 in 1999 when he recorded Still Fiddling. His attributes-flawless violin tone and technique, room-filling sound, irresistible swing-were intact. One of the greatest European jazz artists, little known in the United States, Asmussen has for decades been a star in Denmark, resolutely maintaining his native country as his home base and rarely performing outside of the continent. Asmussen built his style on inspiration from Joe Venuti and, most tellingly, Stuff Smith. He made his professional debut in 1933, became a celebrity and was later imprisoned by Denmark’s Nazi occupiers in World War II. When peace broke out, he roared back into his career, which has continued unabated.
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