Eminent drummer Jerry Granelli leads this covers session where the musicians spin diverse interpretations of largely immortal compositions from yesteryear via telepathic output and a modus operandi framed on an outpouring of fellowship and merriment. As their personalized takes on the late, influential pianists/composers Mose Allison and Vince Guaraldi are executed with assurance and acutely placed detours amid a democratic group-based manifesto. Hence, these positive attributes come as no surprise since the drummer performed extensively with both artists.
The festivities start with Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate To The Wind," tinted by bassist Bradley Christopher Jones' deep arco patterns and animated rendering of the primary melody, followed by the group's slow to medium paced gait, morphed into an upbeat ballad by pianist Jamie Saft. Yet the band projects a rollicking finger-snapping groove associated with Allison's signature and acclaimed version of Bukka White's "Parchman Farm." Here, they incorporate blues, soul, and modern jazz along with the improvisational quotient. Moreover, Granelli's drumming accentuates the pulse due to snappy rimshots and his cymbals colorizations, followed by Saft's off-kilter stride piano voicings and colossal block chords as the artists circumnavigate the main theme with a refreshing viewpoint.
The trio digs into these works, ingrained with harmonious riffs and the rhythm section's irrefutable verve. However, Jones and Granelli provide brief intermissions with duets on "Mind Prelude I" and "Mind Prelude II," featuring the bassist's melodic e-bass lines and the drummer's swerving hits and accenting cymbal swashes. And Allison's "Star Song" moves forward with Granelli's samba beats and the pianist's softly driving phraseology and tuneful harmonics, transitioning to breezy narratives and placid currents.
Saft injects a progression of scrappy free-jazz motifs on Allison's "Your Mind Is On Vacation" while the band dissects the principle melody line with an imaginary chopping block and aggressive interplay. Last but not least, the musicians close out with Guaraldi's much beloved "Christmas Time Is Here." Hence, a timeless piece meant to be heard by all of earth's denizens.
Cast Your Fate to the Wind; Parchman Farm; Baby Please Don’t Go; Mind Prelude 1; Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy; Star Song; Young Man Blues; Mind Prelude 2; Your Mind Is on Vacation; Christmas Time Is Here.