All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Jazzamenco CD/LP/Track Review
Jazzamenco
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 13, 2018
Read You Have Options CD/LP/Track Review
You Have Options
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Heroes, Saints and Clowns CD/LP/Track Review
Heroes, Saints and Clowns
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Bowie, Berlin & Beyond CD/LP/Track Review
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read For You CD/LP/Track Review
For You
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 12, 2018
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Journey
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 11, 2018
Read "Afloat" CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "West Coast Trio" CD/LP/Track Review West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Be Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Be Cool
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 7, 2018
Read "Waiting For The Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Waiting For The Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: October 27, 2018