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Grant Stewart: The Sound of Hard Bop Today

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Grant Stewart is regarded as one of the most influential tenor sax players of the contemporary jazz scene. After nine formative years of intense learning and playing in his hometown of Toronto, the 19 year- old Stewart took his saxophone and bought a flight to New York. Once there, he did things his own way from day one: he decided his best bet would be to seek tutelage from musicians he liked, such as trumpter Donald Byrd, pianist Barry Harris and saxophonist Joe Lovano. He is, perhaps, a prime example of an accomplished jazz musician who never attended a formal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Stewart: Plays the Music of Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

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Here's a refreshing take on Ellingtonia, one that doesn't rely on the overdone ("Take the A Train," “Perdido") or easy ("C-Jam Blues"). Canadian native Grant Stewart brings a post-Swing, combo approach to his Ellingtonia, even going so far as to reference Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk{{ and the {{Duke Ellington/John Coltrane collaboration. The tenor saxophonist, whose own distinctive style has echoes of Clifford Jordan and later Al Cohn in tone and conception, leads a pos tbop/hard bop-leaning quartet with pianist Tardo Hammer, bassist Paul Gill and drummer Joe Farnsworth. All of the material here ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Stewart: Young at Heart

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Since moving from Toronto to New York at age 19, Grant Stewart has spent 15 years dutifully toiling in the city's jazz underground. Only over the past few years have we begun to hear some worthy examples of the tenor saxophonist's labor--a release under his name for Criss Cross, a pair on the same label by Reeds and Deeds (a band he co-leads with Eric Alexander), and a couple on the Video Arts imprint. Although all of these discs are worth your discretionary income and time, 2007's In the Still of the Night (Sharp Nine) was a career-defining recording. From ...

INTERVIEWS

Grant Stewart: From Smalls To The Big Time

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Saxophonist Grant Stewart moved from Toronto to New York after high school, and quickly established himself as a musician's musician. Stewart has played and studied with everyone from Donald Byrd and Pat LaBarbera to Brad Mehldau and Al Grey. His new album, In The Still Of The Night (Sharp Nine, 2007) is an infectious album of classic tenor tones.

AAJ contributor Jason Crane recently spoke with Stewart about jazz's Yoda, hard-asses and Eddie Van Halen.

All About Jazz: I know that you grew up in Toronto and that your dad was a guitarist who ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grant Stewart: In The Still Of The Night

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Grant Stewart In The Still Of The Night Sharp Nine Records 2007

Soloing on the title track of In The Still Of The Night, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart plays scads of notes over a rhythm section traveling at warp speed. But while his stamina and ability to think fast at a nearly impossible tempo are impressive, this tenacious blowing doesn't hint at the depth of Stewart's work on the rest of the disc's eight cuts--when the pace is more temperate, there's an opportunity to hear the things that really matter. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Stewart: In the Still of the Night

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Grant Stewart has an athletic able-bodied style on tenor that can best be described as muscular. It is no surprise that he lists Sonny Rollins as a major influence but what makes him a standout in the large crowd of hard bop tenorists is his ability to sprint across the keys without sacrificing an ounce of beef. He can be found often headlining shows at Smalls in New York and impressing with his rare combination of speed and power. In the Still of the Night, his first date as a Sharp Nine leader, has him striking a ...

PODCAST
CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Stewart: In The Still Of The Night

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It would not be a stretch to call Grant Stewart an international jazz nomad. Stewart was born in Canada and moved to New York City at nineteen. During his career, he has recorded for labels that read like a UN roll call, including French, Japanese, Spanish and Dutch imprints. In The Still Of The Night is his first release as a leader on an American label.

The tenor saxophonist receives support from drummer Joe Farnsworth, bassist Peter Washington and pianist Tardo Hammer. The members of this collective, although not a working band, have all played with Stewart, and ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

On Fire; Estate

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Mike LeDonne On Fire Savant 2006 Grant Stewart Estate Video Arts Music 2006

Mike LeDonne has been leading his own quartet at Smoke every Tuesday night for the past six years. On Hammond organ, he swings hard and fires up the audience on this live recording along with regulars Eric Alexander (tenor), Peter Bernstein (guitar) and Joe Farnsworth (drums). Their cohesive approach lights fires of the imagination, as the organ combo ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Grant Stewart: Grant Stewart + 4

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Grant Stewart is a young Canadian tenor saxophonist with a big, burly sound and plenty of drive. On Grant Stewart + 4, he demonstrates his command of both his instrument and the hard bop idiom. He swings without pretense and his top-shelf sidemen move things along with considerable brio.

Stewart's improvisations are marked by long, rolling lines and heated swing. He displays a cohesive sense of invention even at the fastest tempos, as on “Limehouse Blues," for example. And while Stewart is deeply indebted to Sonny Rollins, he's clearly looking for his own approach, making interesting and original note choices ...



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