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.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Steel Guitar, Snow and Sunny Beaches: Five New Albums on Losen Records" Multiple Reviews Steel Guitar, Snow and Sunny Beaches: Five New Albums on...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio" Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Albert We Hardly Knew Ye" Multiple Reviews Albert We Hardly Knew Ye
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

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!