All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

241

Danny Grissett: Promise

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
The jazz piano trio format has its share of plaudits and pitfalls. One the one hand, it has immense possibilities in terms of orchestration and rhythm. But on the other hand, it's all too easy for the music to turn into background wallpaper for the local cocktail lounge. As such, it's a risky decision to make your debut recording in a trio setting, but pianist Danny Grissett need not worry—he deserves nothing but acclaim for this set, one of the best maiden voyages that I have heard in years.

Only making his move to New York City in 2003, Grissett has nonetheless become a valuable sidemen to some heavy-hitting leaders, including Nicholas Payton, Tom Harrell and Vincent Herring. On Promise, the pianist gets together with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott for a recital of originals and standards that give full expression to his range of abilities while avoiding any inclination to wear his chops on his sleeves. This later point is particularly important at a time when it seems that a slew of current pianists from Eldar to Hiromi seem to be trying too hard to dazzle with technique. Don't get me wrong, Grissett is highly skilled, but he chooses to channel his abilities into the emotional impact of his performances.

Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" is a time-worn test of a musician's mettle that can merely sound perfunctory in many hands, but Grissett opens the disc on a positive note by breaking up the flow of the rhythm so that instead of an insistent pulse, there are periods of tension and release. "Autumn Nocturne" also gets a makeover, taken at a brisker pace than usual but retaining the sentimentality of the lyrics. Grissett's own tunes explore a multiplicity of moods and are exigent without being cloying. Just listen to how natural he makes 13/4 sound in the original "Where Do We Go From Here?"

A closing romp through Mulgrew Miller's quicksilver "Eleventh Hour" finds all the pots on in a blistering performance that illustrates the great rapport that Grissett shares with Archer and Scott. All three of these men are at the top of their game, and collectively they've come up with a piano trio set that is as far away from cocktail piano music as it gets. And that's a good thing indeed!


Track Listing: Moment's Notice; Autumn Nocturne, Promise, Where Do We Go From Here?, Cambridge Place, You Must Believe in Spring; On the Edge; Everything Happens To Me; Eleventh Hour.

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

Title: Promise | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Criss Cross

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Safety Signal From A Target Town" CD/LP/Track Review Safety Signal From A Target Town
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Live at Kolarac" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Es:sensual" CD/LP/Track Review Es:sensual
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Los Vínculos" CD/LP/Track Review Los Vínculos
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 1, 2018
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Music For David Mossman" CD/LP/Track Review Music For David Mossman
by John Sharpe
Published: September 2, 2018