198

Marty Grosz: Hooray For Bix!

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
A native of Germany, guitarist and vocalist Marty Grosz's especial personality has been part of the traditional jazz scene since the early '50s. Growing up in New York and later moving to Chicago, Grosz has played over the years with renown musicians such as Dick Wellstood, Art Hodes, Jabbo Smith, and the group Soprano Summit. Still active today, Grosz's Hooray For Bix! was originally cut for Riverside in 1957 and it not only pays homage to its namesake, '20s and '30s cornet wizard Bix Beiderbecke, but also serves as a watermark of the '50s revivalist movement.

Like one of his inspirations, Eddie Condon, Grosz works out on a guitar of the four-string variety and his main function here is of a rhythmic thrust, with two fine vocals thrown in to boot. In deference to Beiderbecke's horn of choice, co- leader Carl Halen opts for the use of a cornet, an instrument seldom used these days in jazz. The rest of the band is filled out with instruments representative of your normal Dixieland-type ensemble, and while none of the men have any major name recognition, they all play with skill and fervor. Frank Chace's robust baritone sax work is particularly lovely, as is his breathy clarinet stylings, which are very much akin to that of Pee Wee Russell.

A shrewd decision on the parts of Grosz and Halen was to go for material that was a bit left-of-center from the obvious, so don't expect to hear "Singin' the Blues" or "In a Mist." In fact, the only Beiderbecke original turns out to be "For No Reason At All." That's all just fine though, because this set proves to be a bit more poetic than similar sessions of this ilk. Even those with a bit of apprehension towards music of this genre will find something to like here, as solo space for all is copious and collective improvisation is kept at a minimum. As an added bonus, Dave Jones' beautiful early stereo manifests each instrument with clarity and warmth.


Track Listing: Changes, Cryin' All Day, Lonely Melody, I'm Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now, Sorry, My Pet, The Love Nest, Clementine, Oh Miss Hannah, Wa-Da-Da (Eveybody's Doin' It Now), For No Reason At All in 'C', Because My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now (45:34)

Personnel: Marty Grosz- guitar and vocals; Carl Halen- cornet, Turk Santos- second cornet (tracks 6 & 12 only), guitar (track 9 only); Harry Budd- trombone; Frank Chace- clarinet & baritone sax, Bob Skiver- clarinet & tenor sax; Tut Soper- piano, Chuck Neilson- bass, Pepper Boggs- drums

| Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 02
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Ånder" CD/LP/Track Review Ånder
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 22, 2016
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!