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Grant Green: Grant's First Stand

C. Andrew Hovan By

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Leaving his native St. Louis in 1959, guitarist Grant Green got his first big break appearing with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest and made his recording debut on Forrest's All The Gin Is Gone. While in Chicago, he then appeared on organist Sam Lazar's Space Flight before hooking up with Lou Donaldson in New York. The rest of the story, as they say, would be history as Green's recording career with Blue Note would end up spanning the years 1961 to 1972.

Grant's First Stand would be Green's debut effort as a leader for Blue Note in the organ trio format that provided fodder for most of his early recordings. Obscure organist "Baby Face" Willette and drummer Ben Dixon make up this most congenial group and things get off to a fine start with the full-tilt energy of "Miss Ann's Tempo." Even at this early stage in his recordings career, Green immediately displays all the qualities that would mark his subsequent work. His signature sound and way with single- note runs is positively enticing. And although none of them would become standards, Green's three originals are catchy and yet meaty enough to provide each soloist with a firm basis for improvisation.

Another set that has taken far too long to appear on compact disc, Grant's First Stand fills in the details of Green's early Blue Note activity quite nicely, while also adding considerably to the meager catalog's of Willette and Dixon.


Track Listing: Miss Ann's Tempo, Lullaby of the Leaves, Blues for Willarene, Baby's Minor Lope, 'Taint Nobody's Business If I Do, A Wee Bit O' Green (40:00)

Personnel: Grant Green- guitar, "Baby Face" Willette- organ, Ben Dixon- drums

Title: Grant's First Stand | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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