on November 28, 2003
and this 1992 effort -- a tribute to tbe legendary turn of the 20th Century New Orleans cornet player Buddy Bolden -- certainly does showcase his talent. Not only as a drummer/percussionist, and as a composer, but also for the very eclectic and supremely talented group of people he put together to produce this side. For some reason, you don't hear much about Granelli in the press, but look around at his catalogue and his work as a sideman (Ralph Towner's 'City of Eyes' for one) and you'll never be disappointed with what you find.
I'm also a huge Robben Ford and Bill Frisell fan, so be sure to check out their playing. Ford continues to show that he's one of the very best interpreters of the blues idiom around and Frisell is simply so versatile that he finds a way to play anything in any genre. Some of his licks just blow your mind. And how can one not say that Garret, Priester and Cox don't just plain kick ass? Each in turn contribute mightily to this effort. It's all good on this one, folks.
The side is jazzy, funky, bluesy, sad, joyous and beautiful. In short, the musicianship is superb. You'll definitely pat your foot to it as well as enjoy the mood and texture of the music.
on September 4, 2008
The thing that surprises me about this 1993 release is the fact that the line-up of musicians could have easily been a disaster. I mean think about this: Bill Frisell and Robben Ford on the same album? What in the world? Also consider this: Kenny Garrett and Julian Priester playing together? Jerry Granelli and Anthony Cox are the only two in this group that seem to make sense on paper.
Despite my analysis of why this would be a chaotic event, this album absolutely is totally hip and accessible. One who is not familiar with Bill Frisell will have to take a few steps back, because like always Frisell's sound really dominates these tunes. Me, being the hardcore Frisell fan, I had to get this one, but I was ultimately scared because for one I wasn't sure how Frisell and Ford were going to react with each other, but it ended up being a meeting of sonic delight!
Anybody familiar with the jazz world probably already know about alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett and trombonist Julian Priester. Their own solo records and other session work speaks for itself. Both players are really bebop players that can adapt to their surroundings much Bill Frisell can his. Kenny's tone on this record is surprisingly good, but his later years has not been kind to his saxophone tone. (See my review for Kenny Garrett's Beyond The Wall)
The rhythm secion of Anothony Cox and Jerry Granelli is excellent. Both musicians support everyone's ideas with enthusiasm and wit.
For those Frisell fans out there, you're going to want to pick this one up. Highly recommended.
on August 24, 1999
This CD was so much better than I thought it would be. I'm a huge Bill frisell fan but haven't heard too much Jerry granelli that I care for. This CD is lush, gorgeous, funky and and it just plain cooks. The dueling guitars approach completely works with each guitarist ofering their strengths into the unique blend of New Orleans funky, chet baker-esque slow numbers. Highly recommended. One of my favorite Bill Frisell records.