240

Darrell Grant: Truth and Reconciliation

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Darrell Grant: Truth and Reconciliation Pianist/composer Darrell Grant's Truth and Reconciliation might be categorized as "music to make the world a better place." A strong case could be made that all music—indeed, all art—has that purpose. Grant's aspirations in that direction here are more on-the-sleeve than you find on most musical endeavors. The results on the project are remarkable for their celebratory beauty and unadorned artistic truth.

The core of the music-making is the piano trio of Grant teamed with drummer Brian Blade and bassist John Patitucci. They craft a gorgeously organic sound on the trio tunes; and the same holds true for each of the guest spots—saxophonist Steve Wilson's plaintiff tone on "Ubuntu," vibraphonist Joe Locke's seamless integration on the American Songbook jewel, "The Way You Look Tonight," a lovely look at the tune that serves as a highlight among highlights.

The opening cut, "Reconciliation," a Grant composition, features very busy sideman, guitarist Bill Frisell. One of the strengths of this set is Grant's arrangements of the guest spots, integrating the various sounds perfectly with the trio. Rather than setting Frisell in front of the rhythm team, it's four musicians locked into the music as one.

Grant and company cover Sting's "King of Pain" and Sheryl Crow's "I Shall Believe," as a backdrop to John F. Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural Address followed by portions of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" and "I've Been to the Moutaintop" speeches. Citing a belief that eloquent words can make a difference, Grant inserts snippets of inspirational speeches from Mohandas Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela, along with some vocals of his own on a three of his original songs, R&B flavored tunes that sound like a Stevie Wonder/Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye mix.

That may sound like a bit of a mish-mash, but Grant's artistic vision, deft sequencing and core trio sound hold it together.

It takes some chutzpah to take on a project this ambitious—two full-length CDs that attempt to make the world a better place. Take it as "just music" or take it as an inspirational work of art. It works both ways, marvelously.


Track Listing: CD1: Reconciliation; Ubuntu; The Way You Look Tonight; Tight; Introduction; Fils du Soliel (for Tony Williams; Day of Grace; Resolution of Love; King of Pain. CD2: King of Pain (reprise); Cross of Gold; When I See the Water; Blues for the Masters; I Shall Believe; The Geography of Hope; Algo Bueno.

Personnel: Darrell Grant: piano, Fender rhodes; John Patitucci: bass; Brian Blade: drums; Bill Frisell: guitar (CD1#1); Steve Wilson: saxophones (CD1#2, CD1#6, CD2#4); Joe Locke: vibes (CD1#3); Adam Rogers: guitar (CD1#8; CD2#3).

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "TriAngular Bent" CD/LP/Track Review TriAngular Bent
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Work" CD/LP/Track Review Work
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Life" CD/LP/Track Review Life
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!