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JAZZ POETRY

Black Sage (for Henry Grimes)

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I have seen the stage lights playthe sly sagacity of Henry's smile:the lightning on his lips, decadesdark with spattered starlight coming back to his eyes.To win words from that smilethat opens like a jackknifedrawing blood from parchment spurting the sanguine melodythe black sage spun like spiderin fury wrapping Ayler's axe--it is a dream, unless the song of '66 wire its sound and touchthe new decade... Blade slicesagain in air, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Henry Grimes at The Stone: Alive at 75

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Henry Grimes, Newman Taylor Baker, Lee Mixashawn Rozie and Connie CrothersThe StoneEast VillageNew York, NY John Zorn honored the great Henry Grimes, bassist and violinist, with “a month of 75th birthdays" this November, consisting of a curatorship of his venue, The Stone, together with his wife, Margaret. A long weekend spent in New York City gave me a window on this important event, which marks a benchmark in the extraordinary and miraculous resurrection of the artist after a 35-year absence. Since coming back out of this time of personal crisis Grimes has risen above himself, ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Signs Along The Road

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Signs Along The Road Henry Grimes Soft cover; 128 pages ISBN: 978-3-00-020142-4 Buddy's Knife 2007

Bassist Henry Grimes was one of the leading lights on the free jazz scene in the 1960s, playing with many of the music's most famous names, including pianist Cecil Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry, reed player Pharoah Sanders and saxophonist Albert Ayler. Financial struggle forced him away from jazz and in 1968 he stopped playing. But fortunately, several years later, he met his future wife and manager, Margaret Davis, who back in 2002, started ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Henry Grimes: Like He's Never Been Away

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Henry Grimes The Call ESP Disk 2008

The disappearance and re-emergence of Henry Grimes after almost 30 years is one of jazz music's great resurrection stories. The Juilliard-trained double bassist, who began his career in the late 1950s with the likes of clarinetist Benny Goodman and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan before becoming an avatar of the avant-garde in the bands of saxophonist Albert Ayler and pianist Cecil Taylor, vanished at the height of his acclaim to a life of obscurity on the West Coast, to return in 2003 through the assistance of fans ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Grimes / Rashied Ali: Going To The Ritual

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Bassist Henry Grimes was a seminal figure within progressive jazz and jazz-based improvisation back in the '50s and '60s. His relevance and resume contains stints with a who's who of jazz stalwarts. As Grimes' migration from Los Angeles to New York City in 2003 looms as one of the more heartening stories within this idiom, after disappearing from the scene for thirty-five years.

Grimes was rediscovered in Los Angeles by a Georgia social worker and ardent admirer back in 2002. Moving forward, the artist received a bass from William Parker, which helped reestablish his musicality and presence. Here, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2008: Day 4

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6

Steve Swell-Gebhard Ullmann Quartet; Bobby Few and Sonny Simmons; Henry Grimes with Sabir Mateen Quartet; Connie Crother; Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quintet

13th Annual Vision Festival Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center New York City Friday, June 13, 2008

For the second of the week's panel discussions on Friday afternoon at the Vision Festival, the topic was “Jazz Factions," with representation drawn from across the creative music spectrum, including several musicians in the audience. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Henry Grimes Twofer: The Power of Light & Going to the Ritual

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Henry Grimes & Oluyemi Thomas The Power of Light Not Two 2007 Henry Grimes & Rashied Ali Going to the Ritual Porter Records 2008

Which are the more conducive to creativity: first time meetings or established partnerships? On this evidence, bassist Henry Grimes favors the former. While Grimes has been very actively touring since his fabled return, he has not been so prolific in recorded output, so these two first-time duets ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Henry Grimes at the London Jazz Festival 2006

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The last three years must seem to Henry Grimes as the busiest period in his career, almost equal to his prolific output in the 1960s when he contributed to such epochal albums of the avante garde as Spirits Rejoice (Albert Ayler), Unit Structures and Conquistador (Cecil Taylor) and Complete Communion (Don Cherry). On Friday night, November 10, Grimes maintained his busy schedule by performing in the 2006 London Jazz Festival with guitarist Marc Ribot's group Spiritual Unity alongside Roy Campbell on trumpet and Chad Taylor on drums.

Ribot's group, as its name might imply to some insiders, is something ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Henry Grimes, Sunny Murray and David Murray at the Haarlem Jazzstad

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Henry Grimes, Sunny Murray and David Murray Haarlem Jazzstad Festival Haarlem, Holland August 18, 2006Anyone who is familiar with the remarkable “rediscovery" of bassist Henry Grimes, who distinguished many of the great jazz albums of the 1960's with artists such as Sonny Rollins, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Roy Haynes, will hopefully take great relish in the reading of this review--a Trio performance with the man who invented free-jazz drumming and one of the greatest saxophonists to have played jazz in the past 30 years. An event that practically passed under ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Grimes Trio: Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival

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From his return to performing at Los Angeles' World Stage to his triumphant residency in New York, Henry Grimes plays like he's making up for lost time. Captured here on his first recording in decades, Grimes performs live in Finland with two of the best and hardest working musicians around, David Murray on reeds and Hamid Drake on drums. Although a generation younger, Murray and Drake share with Grimes an approach that incorporates virtuosity and daunting technical skill to create an active onslaught of ideas.

The program opens with Grimes' “Spin," the returner prowling around his bass, and Murray and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Grimes: Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival

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Amazingly, this CD is the first disc released under Henry Grimes' name since 1965, when his only title as a leader appeared (The Call, ESP). Though there are many private recordings of Grimes playing since his storybook return, this live performance was serendipitous for being close enough to Sweden for the head of Ayler Records to attend and be impressed enough to release it. Lucky too for Grimes, since he has only been in the studio twice since his return. One would think the studio would suit Grimes best, since his reputation was made there with prodigious output in the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Grimes Trio: Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival

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From his return to performing at LA's World Stage to his triumphant residency in New York, bassist Henry Grimes plays like he's making up for lost time. Captured here on his first recording in decades, Grimes performs live in Finland with two of the best and hardest working musicians around, David Murray on reeds and Hamid Drake on drums. Although a generation younger, Murray and Drake share with Grimes an approach that incorporates virtuosity and daunting technical skill to create an active onslaught of ideas.

The program opens with Grimes' “Spin, the veteran prowling around his bass, Murray and Drake ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Marshall Allen and Henry Grimes: Space is the Place

Some performances provide entertainment, while others can be instructional about repertoire and technique. If the audience is fortunate, however, the rare element of inspiration is also present to provide a memorable evening. “An Die Music" in Baltimore, Maryland -- one of the best venues on the East Coast south of New York City -- continued its spring season by presenting Marshall Allen and Henry Grimes, each of whom remain inspirational examples of perseverance, optimism and creativity. Those familiar with creative improvisation in the 1960s are well aware of the respective histories of these legends. Rather than focusing upon a ...

INTERVIEWS

A Fireside Chat With Henry Grimes

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There once was a man from Philly named Henry Grimes. After studying at Juilliard, this bassist played alongside Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Gil Evans, Roy Haynes, Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Anita O'Day, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor. In 1967, at the peak of his assent, the man disappeared.

Thirty-five years later, Grimes was found by a fan of the music living in a hotel in downtown Los Angeles. With no bass, the call went out that Grimes expressed interest in playing the instrument once more and William Parker answered the call. Since, ...



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