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Lou Grassi: Port Of Call

Read "Port Of Call" reviewed by John Sharpe

German pianist Klaus Treuheit and American drummer Lou Grassi present a further instalment of an irregular collaboration on the limited edition LP Port Of Call. Treuheit may not be familiar to many outside his homeland, but he maintains an active schedule based around European radio stations and has contributed film music for the likes of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. Currently best known as part of the cooperative Nu Band, Grassi has also lead his own Po Band units in the ...

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The Lou Grassi Po Band with Marshall Allen: Live At The Knitting Factory Volume 1

Read "Live At The Knitting Factory Volume 1" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Drummer Lou Grassi, with his progressive jazz and improvisational luminaries, slams matters into high gear during this gutsy 2000 recording, captured at New York City's Knitting Factory. Historically, Grassi is known for his driving passion and prominent leadership, while almost always engaging with superior musicians. Here, the frontline musicians lock horns, via intervallic spikes and scorching dialogues. “RePoZest" presents an evolving vista, commencing with introspective musings between trumpeter Paul Smoker's linear phrasings and flautist Marshall Allen's cosmological lines. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Lou Grassi: Live at The Guelph Festival, The Dope and The Ghost (Live in Vienna) & Shapes and Shadows

Read "Lou Grassi: Live at The Guelph Festival, The Dope and The Ghost (Live in Vienna) & Shapes and Shadows" reviewed by Marc Medwin

Marshall Allen/Lou Grassi Live at The Guelph Festival Cadence Jazz 2007 The Nu Band The Dope and The Ghost (Live in Vienna) Not Two 2007 Martin Speicher/Georg Wolf/Lou Grassi Shapes and Shadows Clean Feed 2007

Lou Grassi is one of the few drummers ...

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Marshall Allen / Lou Grassi: Live At The Guelph Festival

Read "Live At The Guelph Festival" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Marshall Allen and Lou Grassi make quite a duo. On Live At The Guelph Festival, they play unprepared and unrehearsed music which, due to their skill, has a remarkable degree of coherence. Admittedly, this is free or avant-garde jazz, requiring coherence to be understood within that framework. Allen is currently leading the Sun Ra Arkestra, after both Sun Ra (1993) and John Gilmore (1995) died, while Grassi has become something of the house percussionist at the CIMP ...

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The Nu Band: The Dope And The Ghost

Read "The Dope And The Ghost" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Not easily pigeonholed, the music of The Nu Band negotiates the boundaries of free-bop, improvisation, chamber, and traditional jazz with bias toward none. That cannot be said of the band's politics. Giving no quarter to the current Bush administration, they take our 'king' to task from the opening notes of the disc's centerpiece--"BushWhacked.

Saxophonist Mark Whitecage originally recorded BushWhacked: A Spoken Opera (Acoustics ELE, 2005), a Dubya denunciation with his Bi-Coastal Orchestra, a band he leads with ...

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Lou Grassi's Po Band: Infinite POtential

Read "Infinite POtential" reviewed by Robert Iannapollo

Drummer-for-all-seasons Lou Grassi can do it all. But when left to his own devices with his PO band, he seems to prefer sessions that are mostly improvised. Grassi's latest PO Band project, Infinite POtential (the group's sixth release), finds Grassi and company going back to free improvisation as their MO, with a couple of new members--bassist Adam Lane and bass trombonist David Taylor, both no strangers to the band's methodology. Add two band veterans, trumpeter Herb Robertson and clarinetist Perry ...

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Lou Grassi Quartet: Avanti Galoppi

Read "Avanti Galoppi" reviewed by Germein Linares

With over thirty years of dedication to jazz, drummer Lou Grassi should be better known. In the netherworld of jazz, though, and its even darker region of free jazz, no one seems capable of escaping obscurity, a sort of reverse vampire state. Avanti Galoppi brings Grassi closer to the light, closer to the recognition he deserves via the album's seven engaging tunes. Employing the skilled services of Herb Robertson on trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn, Rob Brown on alto saxophone, and ...

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Ken Wessel, Ken Filiano & Lou Grassi: Jawboning

Read "Jawboning" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Matriculation from sideman to frontman can be a stressful process. Guitarist Ken Wessel makes the long due move with aplomb. A short string of CIMP dates supporting saxophonist William Gagliardi and violinist Sam Bardfield, as well as a long-standing slot in Ornette Coleman's Prime Time band, solidified the clout. Wessel chose Lou Grassi, his colleague in the Gagliardi group, and the drummer in turn suggested the participation of bassist Ken Filiano.

Wessel's easygoing, unassuming approach jibes well with ...

INTERVIEWS

Lou Grassi: Joining Two Worlds

Read "Lou Grassi: Joining Two Worlds" reviewed by Rico Cleffi

Drummer Lou Grassi has appeared on over two dozen sessions in addition to serving up over a half dozen of his own CDs, many at the helm of his Po Band group which has featured such special guests as Sun Ra Arkestra saxophonist and bandleader Marshall Allen, the legendary Danish saxophonist John Tchicai and Art Ensemble of Chicagoan Joseph Jarman. A fixture on the New York jazz scene as one of the most reliable drummers whose flexibility naturally criss-crosses the ...

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Lou Grassi Quartet: Avanti Galoppi

Read "Avanti Galoppi" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Inspiration for album titles rarely conforms to any sort of conventional wisdom. Witness the curious phrase chosen by drummer Lou Grassi to christen his latest CIMP offering. The Italian expression translates to “gallop ahead," a directive that mirrors Grassi's tendency toward barely bridled energy behind his kit. Subtlety and passivity aren't his usual temperaments and he's vigorously stoked the rhythmic engines of many a free music ensemble. Still, his sensitive touch on the balladic opening piece here counters the argument ...

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Lou Grassi's PoBand and John Tchicai: comPOsed

Read "comPOsed" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Seven years running amid a few personnel changes along the way, drummer Lou Grassi’s PoBand conglomerate is most assuredly founded upon richly formulated methodologies. With this effort, legendary modern jazz saxophonist/composer John Tchicai lends his expansive talents to this supercharged quintet. Yet sadly, this recording marks one of the final sessions of the great modern jazz bassist Wilber Morris, who passed away on August 8, 2002.

The title, comPOsed sets the paradigm for this outing. In the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gunter Heinz & Lou Grassi: Live In Wuppertal

Read "Live In Wuppertal" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

New York City-based drummer/percussionist, Lou Grassi has been interrogating the modern jazz genre for quite some time, largely due to his ongoing “PoBand” aggregation. Grassi’s often-ferocious polyrhythmic attack is prominently highlighted during this pared down set featuring trombonist, Gunter Heinz, and special guest, guitarist Peter A. Worringer.

Simply put, Grassi and Heinz, engage on a musical seek and destroy mission. On this live outing recorded at a German venue, the duo intertwines general playfulness with varying levels of intensity as ...


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