Sunday 27 April 2008

The only existing video of Grant Green

I love Grant's playing and dedicated a site to him about ten years ago: The Grant Green Pages. Although Grant never made it as big as Wes in his lifetime, his Blue Note albums sold pretty well and, withe the re-release of many of them, he has has latterly become a big influence on many guitarists. His funky catalogue has been plundered for beats by many hip hop artists so you will have heard him without knowing it.

This film comes from a TV gig with Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel. It's a solo on a blues (Blue Mist) and it typifies his exciting, relaxed, swinging style. I think it was recorded in London in the late Sixties.

Here are a few things I like about Grant:

  1. He can sound nonchalant even when playing the most blistering lines
  2. His time is fantastic - he can hold his own in the company of great rhythm sections, such as McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Bob Cranshaw
  3. Where many jazz guitarists go for a dull tone, Grant's is really bright and it helps his lines sing
  4. You don't have to be a guitarist to enjoy his recordings - Grant knew how to entertain
  5. He didn't stop developing in his life - many people write off his funky period, but the groove-based track really show how he can dig in, lead the band and create a sense of excitement

New recording

I've not posted for many months because there have been so many things going on.

Now, Matt Wall and I have just recorded a few tunes at a a studio in Steyning near Brighton. Matt plays 7-string nylon classical and I play the Sadowsky Jim Hall. We recorded it in a couple of hours, mostly one take. The full tracklisting is:
  • Groovy Samba
  • Joyspring
  • How Insensitive
  • Charade
  • You Stepped Out of a Dream
  • Manha de Carnaval
  • Moose the Mooche (bossa)
  • When Sunny Gets Blue
  • East of the Sun
The tunes are in the player in the sidebar (right). Enjoy!