Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

454

Danny Grissett: Encounters & Waldron Mahdi Ricks

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Ghostliness permeates both pianist Danny Grissett's Encounters and trumpeter/ flugelhornist Waldron Mahdi Ricks' eponymous album. Grissett is on Ricks' debut as a leader and leads a trio for his sophomore effort.

The sessions showcase two sides of the young pianist—one who can most certainly swing in a modern jazz way, but who also has the rarer ability to convey subtle feeling through touch and comps. Ricks, especially on flugelhorn, appears to be a likeminded romantic whose compositions, delicate tone and elegant voicings channel myriad exquisite emotions in the context of his top-flight sextet.

Danny Grissett
Encounters
Criss Cross
2008

Grissett came to New York from Los Angeles with a classicist's mastery of technique and over the past five years he has made something of a name for himself supporting the likes of saxophonist Vincent Herring and trumpet player Nicholas Payton. Encounters extends Promises (Criss Cross, 2006), his debut as a leader and finds him delving into realms that are a bit more creative and complex.

The depth of the originals is what most impresses, not only for compositional strength but also as an important cohesive group dynamic. The opener, "Hopscotch," is a quick stepping, rhythmically intriguing take on the children's game, and "Waltz for Billy" touchingly fêtes drummer Billy Higgins. Harmonics and understated percussive touches underscore the trepidation that can accompany "A New Beginning" and an egalitarian group ethos steers the title cut into free-formish waters.

Waldron Mahdi Ricks
Waldron Mahdi Ricks
CAPS
2007

Ricks, a Detroit native, taps drummer Nasheet Waits and alto saxophonists Jorge Sylvester and Jaleel Shaw to round out his debut. This is made up primarily of originals that allow plenty of room for stretching out. Despite the horn-heavy lineup, Ricks maintains a certain translucent vibe. This is due to his gorgeous tone and an unhurried presentation that allows the inherent soulfulness present in these tunes to develop.

Even on the boppers like "Wee Bees in Heaven," the alto horn voicings, though crisp, maintain a beautiful mellowness. On the historical ballad "Bottom Rail on Top," Hicks and Grissett work exceedingly well together retelling the story of a former slave who, as a union soldier, captures his previous master during the Civil War.


Tracks and Personnel



Encounters

Tracks: Hopscotch; Waltz for Billy; A New Beginning; Encounters; Toy Tune; Sunrise; It Could Happen to You; Never Let Me Go; Git!.

Personnel: Danny Grissett: piano; Vicente Archer: bass; Kendrick Scott: drums.

Waldron Mahdi Ricks

Tracks: Bottom Rail On Top; Don't Ask; June My Dear; Playground; The Last Dawn; Wee Bees In Heaven; Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Personnel: Waldron Mahdi Ricks: trumpet, flugelhorn; Danny Grissett: piano; Vicente Archer: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums; Jorge Sylvester: alto saxophone; Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone.


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Holiday Roundup 2017 Multiple Reviews Holiday Roundup 2017
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Old, Borrowed and Just a Little Blue Multiple Reviews Old, Borrowed and Just a Little Blue
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman Makes It Rain Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman Makes It Rain
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 12, 2017
Read Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed Multiple Reviews Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed
by Nigel Campbell
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book" Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble, et. al" Multiple Reviews The Possibilities of Percussion: Yarn/Wire & ensemble,...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio" Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!