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MUSICIAN Born:

Gigi Gryce

Gigi Gryce was born George General Grice(sic) on 28th November, 1925 (not 1927) in Pensacola, Florida - although he was brought up in Hartford, Connecticut. He spent a short period in the Navy where he met musicians such as Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham and Willie Smith, who were to turn his thoughts from pursuing medicine to the possibility of making music for a living. In 1948 he began studying classical composition at the Boston Conservatory under Daniel Pinkham and Alan Hovhaness. It has been reported that he won a Fulbright scholarship and went to Paris to study under Nadia Boulanger and Arthur Honegger, although confirmation of this has been hard to establish. Although illness interrupted his studies abroad, the fruits of this immersion in classical modernism were the production of three symphonies, a ballet (The Dance of the Green Witches), a symphonic tone-poem (Gashiya-The Overwhelming Event) and chamber works, including various fugues and sonatas, piano works for two and four hands, and string quartets. Gryce strictly separated his classical composing from his work in jazz and received inspiration and instruction from a number of 'unsung' jazz saxophonists

Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Riverside Records: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

From 1953, when it was set up, to 1964, when it was acquired by ABC, Riverside Records rivalled Blue Note and Prestige as one of the leading independent jazz labels based in New York City. The founders of all three labels were jazz fans who operated on slim margins and became producers partly because they enjoyed ...

Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten

Read "Hard Bop: An Alternative Top Ten" reviewed by Chris May

Hard bop was the jazz centre of the world from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s, producing many hundreds of immortal albums. Trying to whittle these down to a definitive Top Ten is fun—but it is a subjective and ultimately impossible exercise. In an attempt to dodge those hurdles, the list which ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Benny Benack III: A Lot Of Livin' To Do

Read "A Lot Of Livin' To Do" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Benny Benack III does it all. A trumpeter, vocalist, writer and arranger with a swaggering soul and the chops to back up the panache, he's clearly done his fair share of living already. He may be young—only at the tail end of his twenties, believe it or not—but he seriously has his act together in every ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mal Waldron: Free At Last

Read "Free At Last" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The sensitivity reflected in much of Mal Waldron's music was a deep aspect of his psyche. The Harlem-born pianist, who died in Brussels, Belgium, in 2002, worked downtown with saxophonist Ike Quebec at Café Society in the early 1950s and went on to record on several Charles Mingus recordings including Pithecanthropus Erectus (Atlantic), Jazz Composers Workshop ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gigi Gryce

Jazz Musician of the Day: Gigi Gryce

All About Jazz is celebrating Gigi Gryce's birthday today! Gigi Gryce was born George General Grice(sic) on 28th November, 1925 (not 1927) in Pensacola, Florida- although he was brought up in Hartford, Connecticut. He spent a short period in the Navy where he met musicians such as Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham and Willie Smith, who were ...

NEWS: RECORDING

A Lousy Day in Harlem is a great day for jazz with The Ed Palermo Big Band! Available now!

A Lousy Day in Harlem is a great day for jazz with The Ed Palermo Big Band! Available now!

A Lousy Day in Harlem is a great day for jazz with The Ed Palermo Big Band, as the band known for reinventing the music of Frank Zappa turns its attention to a riveting program of Monk, Coltrane, Ellington, and hard-swinging originals, confirming Ed Palermo’s place in jazz’s top ranks of contemporary big band arrangers. In a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

The Lyricists - Benny Golson, Gigi Gryce, Art Farmer (1953 - 1962)

Read "The Lyricists - Benny Golson, Gigi Gryce, Art Farmer (1953 - 1962)" reviewed by Russell Perry

"Musicians of a gentler, more lyrical bent ... found in hard bop a more congenial climate than bebop had offered: for instance, trumpeter Art Farmer, [and] composers Benny Golson and Gigi Gryce.... In a sense, such musicians were not hard boppers at all. They are, however, partially associated with the movement for two reasons. First, they ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Gigi Gryce + Richard Williams

Gigi Gryce + Richard Williams

Last week, I posted on composer-arranger and alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce and his Jazz Lab partnership with trumpeter Donald Byrd in 1957. I also mentioned that that their union came to an end when Byrd went off to Paris for six months starting in July 1958. Upon his return in December, Byrd began recording as a ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

Gigi Gryce: Jazz Lab

Gigi Gryce: Jazz Lab

The year 1957 was a bountiful one for Gigi Gryce. The alto saxophonist teamed with trumpeter Donald Byrd and formed the Jazz Lab, a group that allowed Gryce to record and perform his compositions and those by other artists with a particular feel and  with varying tempos and moods. From February to September 1957, Gryce and ...


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