Along with Joe Venuti and Stéphane Grappelli, and Svend Asmussen, Stuff Smith was one of the pre-eminent violinists of the swing era and played an important role in the violin’s transition into the modern jazz era, playing with tenor sax giant Coleman Hawkins, bebop icon Dizzy Gillespie, and avant-gardist Sun Ra. A crack rhythm section including MPS ‘house drummer’ Charly Antolini provide ample support on this 1965 offering. Ain’t She Sweet is taken at a tasty swing tempo with Smith’s sumptuous blues-laced violin out front. April In Paris has Stuff with a spring in his step as he plays around the theme. Sweet Lorraine sees the band in a relaxed, laid-back mood, while Basie’s One O’Clock Jump has just the right bounce, with tenor saxophonist Heribert Thusek riffing along with Smith. Everybody has his say on an upbeat Cherokee, whereas Yesterdays has that blue tone of yearning. What Is This Thing Called Love brings the tenor back as Stuff explains what love is all about. It all goes to show, there’s a lot of soul in this black violin.