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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grant Green: Matador

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Grant Green Matador Blue Note / Music Matters 2009 (1964)

This may be the reissue of 2009: a resplendent vinyl pressing of guitarist Grant Green's Matador on two 180-gram, 45-rpm records from Music Matters. This May 1964 recording was, like many Blue Note sets, not released until many years later (November 1979 in Japan in this case) and only reached the U.S. on CD in 1990. It has not been remastered since. The record teams Green with two-thirds of saxophonist John Coltrane's rhythm section of the time--pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones--plus bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Street Of Dreams

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Grant Green (1931-79) is probably the most sampled guitarist of his generation, and is rightly regarded as a godfather of acid jazz. His debut, Grant's First Stand (Blue Note, 1961)--heavy on the good foot groove--was made with soul jazz organist Baby Face Willette, and by 1965, when Green recorded an album for Verve, the label was able to title it, accurately enough, His Majesty King Funk. Many of Green's post-1970 recordings were built around extended, vamp or ostinato driven jams.

But along with a singularly melodic take on funk and blues, Green was capable of considerable harmonic and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grant Green: Idle Moments

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> Grant Green Idle MomentsBlue Note1964 Guitarist Grant Green is most widely remembered today as a godfather of acid jazz, a consequence of the many groove-centric albums he recorded during his career. His debut, Grant's First Stand (Blue Note, 1961), was made with soul jazz organist Baby Face Willette and in 1965, when Green recorded an album for Verve, the label was able to title it His Majesty King Funk and face no challengers. Most of Green's later albums, particularly those made post-1970, were built around extended blues/funk jams.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Live at Club Mozambique

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This is some apotheosis of both jazz-funk and Grant Green, just when you thought Blue Note was practicing overexposure by adding yet another Green disk to last year's three discs worth of funky compilations. But this live session, which spent 35 years in the vault, transcends all previous Grant Green funk sessions by a mile. A lot of the credit has to go to the pluperfect chemistry of the band. Green may have been Blue Note's most erratic artist of the '60s and '70s, but the key to his best work involved matching him with a drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Live At Club Mozambique

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A previously unreleased live session, Live At Club Mozambique captures Grant Green at the start of his final, groove-driven decade.

By this time, fame and dope had taken a heavy toll on the guitarist, who'd downsized to Detroit, where Club Mozambique hosted one of his regular gigs. Blue Note, now without Alfred Lion, pulled out several stops for this recording. Producer Francis Wolff flew in from New York, as did tenor saxophone soul star Houston Person and groove-centric drummer Idris Muhammad. Clarence Thomas (saxophones) and Ronnie Foster (organ) were members of Green's regular band at the Mozambique, where the performances ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Sunday Mornin'

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There are a lot of Grant Green records on the market these days, entirely too much for those of us who think of him as one of the more erratic talents in the distinguished Blue Note catalog. But Sunday Mornin', coming immediately after the recent release of three funk-themed Green compilations of questionable value, is a gem, arguably the finest album of his career. Green had the misfortune of being saddled by his record company with painfully stupid concept albums that may have contributed to his depression and drug abuse. Imagine if Impulse Records had asked Archie Shepp ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Goin' West

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Tempting as it is to dismiss this Grant Green album as the sixties' slant on lite jazz, overriding talent, as one would expect, has a tendency to compensate for a decided lack of risk taking, the very virtue, considering the quality of these players, that could have elevated Goin' West to a minor classic. Recorded in November of 1962 and shelved until 1969, possibly because of its brevity or the glut of Green releases on the market, Goin' West , if one wanted to labor the point, is actually a third of a cycle of would-be concept albums cut by ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Grant Green

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By Sharony Andrews Green Miller Freeman Books

To fans of the Blue Note label - and in the history of jazz there has never been a label with such a clearly defined ethos or sense of purpose - the name Grant Green is a very familiar one. Like label mate Bobby Hutcherson, Green was not only prolific as a leader, but also a ubiquitous session sideman as well. His name appears on scores of those dynamic Reid Miles album covers, and the music he left inside them features one of the greatest - if underrated - guitar sounds ...

MUST HEAR REVIEW

Grant Green: Carryin' On

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Having firmly established himself as the '60s jazz guitarist second only to the great Wes Montgomery, Grant Green was willing and able to move into something new and give himself up to the emerging funk wave that would seep across the '70s.

Attacked by purists as Grant's grand selling-out, these recordings have been rediscovered and widely sampled by legions of acid-jazz aficionados. Hypnotically rhythmic and quintessentially grooving, the five tracks on this straight reissue are all exceptionally tasty bursts of authentic funk. Carryin' On contains two solid covers, the Meters' “Ease Back" and James Brown's “I Don't Want Nobody To ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Retrospective

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About five years ago, I heard guitarist Grant Green's "Ain't it Funky Now," a burnin' J.B. cover on Blue and Funky , a various artists Hammond organ compilation from Blue Note. I’d never heard anything like his honest, cutting tone – it rocked and funked like crazy. I hadn’t purchased much jazz, other than Miles and Coltrane, since I was in high school. And I’d always hated jazz guitar – guitars were supposed to be distorted! Now, 30-plus Green CDs later, I’ve been listening almost exclusively to jazz and my favorite is still Grant Green.

Basically, Retrospective ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: Retrospective 1961-1966

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While the history books will more than likely survey the lineage of jazz guitar by focusing on such technically dazzling plectrists as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Kenny Burrell, a wider view with a focus on peripheral talents will likely support the fact that instrumental proficiency is but a mere part of the overall success of an artist. So while not the astounding showman that Montgomery was, Grant Green was no less a vital guitarist and one who could generate his own sense of interest with a stinging sound, an intensely melodic sense displayed in flowing single note runs, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green, Jr.: Introducing G.G.

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Soul Jazz is cheating. The recipe is tried and true: slick guitar, funky Rhodes and Hammond Organ, tight Drums and Bass, a full horn section. Music like this sounds good and makes folks happy with ease. It is also relatively formulaic.

Such is the scenario for guitarist Grant Green, Jr.’s new album, Introducing G.G.. The selections are soulful, the arrangements tight, the production clean. The rhythms get feet tapping, heads bobbing, and smiles around the room. But, as is often the case with Soul Jazz, the performance is unoriginal.

This is not to take anything away from Mr. Green and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green, Jr.: Introducing G.G.

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The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A strong connection remains. Stepping out on his own, Grant Green, Jr. exhibits a natural affinity for the funk and blues that his late jazz guitarist father epitomized. A smooth, romantic texture emanates from his melodic instrument. Green has selected an eclectic program, including something for everyone. Mellow, smooth jazz sounds follow acoustic, straight-ahead jazz and contemporary, rock-hard funk. Portions of “6 Grams of Funk” are in six, and portions aren’t; but the backbeat shines through everywhere. Its changing meter invites a welcome irregularity that’s heavy on soul and easy on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Green: The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark

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Just like rice and beans, Grant Green and Sonny Clark created a synergy that was more than the sum of its parts. Nowhere is that more apparent than on “The Complete Quartets," where there were no horns competing for solos. The elegant, laid-back style that characterizes these recordings was the one in which both Green and Clark seemed most comfortable, and it shows.

Ironically, neither Green nor Clark was around to see any of this music released. Apparently due to Green's prodigious output in the early '60's, Blue Note decided to shelve these “less commercial" recordings in favor of his ...



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