Published since 2003
After years of writing music related articles, Rex still wonders who has time to listen to all these cds?
The program opens with Grimes' "Spin, the veteran prowling around his bass, Murray and Drake quickly joining him in an easy, unstructured intro. Grimes snaps into a viciously authentic hard bop drive, with Drake including the bass rhythm in one of the many he deals. Murray takes his big tone for an endless ride, as Drake and Grimes shapeshift the time. An a capella blast from Grimes begins with shivers, chisels, and slides, followed by prodigious pinpoint pizzicato. Next up, Murray hits his groove and the music pours out of him in torrents. Murray plays an amiable bass clarinet in an easy going duo with Grimes on "Eighty Degrees. By the time Drake hits the sticks, the trio gallops with Murray launching skyward. The multirhythmic master takes a majestic solo turn, followed by the trio led by a protean workout by Murray, back on tenor. An interstellar bass solo leads straight into the next composition.
Murray's "Flowers for Albert seems to reference Grimes' old boss with playful melody fragments that seem shorthand for Ayleresque melodies. The rhythm section plays straight momentum behind Murray, who rolls around with the tenor. Drake finds beats everywhere, and the band receives a heartfelt ovation that results in the encore, Grimes' "Blues for Savannah. A Monkish theme maps the cheerful jam that follows.
There's going to be a tendency to underestimate Grimes' achievement here, which is akin to a star major league hitter dropping out for thirty years to return more poised with the same power against younger pitchers. For fans unable to catch Grimes, Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival holds the proof that this jazz Orpheus has returned from the underworld a greater light.
Track Listing: Spin; Eighty Degrees; Flowers for Albert; Blues for Savannah.
Personnel: Henry Grimes, bass; David Murray, tenor sax, bass clarinet; Hamid Drake, drums.
Record Label: Ayler Records
Style: Modern Jazz
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