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TITI WINTERSTEIN

Born in 1956, Titi Winterstein didn't waste too much time before he picked up his 1st violin, and by the age of fifteen was a fully swinging member of Hansche Weiss's Gypsy swing quintett

(for further biographical information, follow this link!
Of all the gypsy swing violinists out there, Titi Winterstein is my favourite - at once for his electrifying playing & exquisite tone/ intonation, as well as the brilliant musicians that perform in his ensembles...

While all 6 of the CD's available (two of which are compilations) are simply stunning, the Titi Winterstein Quintett's live 1987 CD on Boulevard (Live Mit Vanessa & Sorba), is postively one of the greatest albums of all time! Featuring guest appearances from Vanessa Merstein & Sorba Kwiatowski (two Eastern European Gypsy singers), this album offers warmth, virtuosity & amazing energy. From dazzling break-neck gypsy-swing, to traditional gypsy tunes, to Musette, to Bossa, this album is a joy from first to last note.

2 of the ingredients which make this album so special are the accordion & lead-guitar players. Klaus Bruder's soloing (& rhythm playing) is absolutely inspiring, as are Lulu Reinhardt's breathtaking solos, and indeed are common ingredients of another indispensable Titi CD on Boulevard: Djinee Tu Kowa Ziro. Featuring predominantly their original compositions, this album also features the powerhouse rhythm-guitars of Geisela Reinhardt & Ziroli Winterstein.
Their most recent offering on Boulevard, recorded in 1994, whilst omiting the great Klaus Bruder on Accordion, happens to feature Silvano Lagrene (a cousin of Bireli Lagrene) on piano, which again, makes for an absolutely classic album, as usual covering the full spectrum of German Gypsy music: swing, jazz, waltzes influenced by French Musette, Hungarian Gipsy Music, bossa nova etc, and once again featuring the sublimely wonderful Lulu Reinhardt on guitar...
The Best of Titi Winterstein is also well-worth acquiring, given that it features several tracks not on the above CD's, including 2 with amazing hot-club blues harp-player Lee Reed, & a blistering guitar version of Aint Misbehavin...
All 4 of these Boulevard CD's are available for sale directly from their tour-promoter Sigfried Maeker...

I believe another compilation has recently become available: it's called Startracks, and I have yet to purchase a copy.

An early album featuring Titi Winterstein available on CD is part of a great series of CD's called "Musik Deutscher Zigeuner" (mostly featuring the wonderful & seminal gypsy-swing violinist Schnuckenack Reinhardt). Musik Deutscher Zigeuner 5 features the Hansche Weiss Quintett, & a 15 year old Titi playing breathtaking hot-club swing, as well as some beautiful traditional gypsy tunes (including one they all sing in uplifting & rousing unison!). Hansche is one of the best gypsy guitarists around, as evident on the two lightning-fast waltzes on this album!
Finally, their is a violin album (hosted by Sir Yehudi Menuhin) well worth seeking out, called All the World's Violins, which features the Titi Winterstein Quintett on 2 tracks (including a fantastic rendering - with group vocals - of a traditional gypsy-tune Fuli Tschai). Other reasons to acquire it include performances by Stephane Grappelli & wonderful Indian violinist L. Subramaniam...