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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " GRANT GREEN " WAS AN AMERICAN JAZZ GUITARIST AND COMPOSER : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

 BLACK             SOCIAL            HISTORY                                                                                                                Grant Green


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Grant Green
Grant Green guitarist.jpg
Background information
BornJune 6, 1935
DiedJanuary 31, 1979 (aged 43)
GenresSoul jazzhard bopjazz bluespost-bopjazz-funk
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar
Years active1959–1978
LabelsBlue Note Records
Associated actsLarry YoungLou Donaldson,Big John Patton
Notable instruments
Gibson ES-330D'Aquisto
Grant Green (June 6, 1935 – January 31, 1979; some sources erroneously give his year of birth as 1931[1]) was an American jazz guitarist and composer.
Recording prolifically and mainly for Blue Note Records (as both leader and sideman) Green performed in the hard bopsoul jazz,bebop and Latin-tinged idioms throughout his career. Critics Michael Erlewine and Ron Wynn write, "A severely underrated player during his lifetime, Grant Green is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz guitar ... Green's playing is immediately recognizable – perhaps more than any other guitarist."[2] Critic Dave Hunter described his sound as "lithe, loose, slightly bluesy and righteously groovy".[3] He often performed in an organ trio, a small group with an organ and drummer.
Apart from guitarist Charlie Christian, Green's primary influences were saxophonists, particularly Charlie Parker, and his approach was therefore almost exclusively linear rather than chordal. The simplicity and immediacy of Green's playing, which tended to avoid chromaticism, derived from his early work playing rhythm and blues and, although at his best he achieved a synthesis of this style with bop, he was essentially a blues guitarist and returned almost exclusively to this style in his later career.[4]

Biography

Green was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He first performed in a professional setting at the age of 12. His influences were Charlie ChristianCharlie ParkerLester Young, and Jimmy Raney, he first played boogie-woogie before moving on to jazz. His first recordings in St. Louis were with tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest for the United label. The drummer in the band was Elvin Jones, later the powerhouse behind John Coltrane. Grant recorded with Elvin again in the early 1960s. Lou Donaldson discovered Grant playing in a bar in St. Louis. After touring together with Donaldson, Grant arrived in New York around 1959–60.
Lou Donaldson introduced Grant to Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records. Lion was so impressed with Grant that rather than testing Grant as a sideman, as was the usual Blue Note practice, Lion arranged for him to record as a group leader first. However, due to a lack of confidence on Green's part the initial recording session was only released in 2001 asFirst Session.[5][6]
Despite the shelving of his first session, Green's recording relationship with Blue Note was to last, with a few exceptions, throughout the Sixties. From 1961 to 1965, Grant made more appearances on Blue Note LPs, as leader or sideman, than anyone else. Grant's first issued album as a leader was Grant's First Stand. This was followed in the same year by Green Street and Grantstand. Grant was named best new star in the Down Beat critics' poll, in 1962. He often provided support to the other important musicians on Blue Note, including saxophonists Hank MobleyIke QuebecStanley Turrentine and organist Larry Young.
Sunday Mornin' , The Latin Bit and Feelin' the Spirit are all loose concept albums, each taking a musical theme or style: GospelLatin and spirituals respectively. Grant always carried off his more commercial dates with artistic success during this period. Idle Moments (1963), featuring Joe Henderson and Bobby Hutcherson, and Solid (1964), are thought of as two of Grant's best recordings.
Many of Grant's recordings were not released during his lifetime. These include McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones (also part of the Solid group) performing on Matador (also recorded in 1964), and several albums with pianist Sonny Clark. In 1966 Grant left Blue Note and recorded for several other labels, including Verve. From 1967 to 1969 Grant was, for the most part, inactive due to personal problems and the effects of heroin addiction. In 1969 Grant returned with a new funk-influenced band. His recordings from this period include the commercially successful Green is Beautiful and the soundtrack to the film The Final Comedown.
Grant left Blue Note again in 1974 and the subsequent recordings he made with other labels divide opinion: some consider Green to have been the 'Father of Acid Jazz' (and his late recordings have been sampled by artists including US3A Tribe Called Quest and Public Enemy),[7] while others have dismissed them (reissue producer Michael Cuscunawrote in the sleeve notes for the album Matador: "During the 1970s [Green] made some pretty lame records").
Grant spent much of 1978 in hospital and, against the advice of doctors, went back on the road to earn some money. While in New York to play an engagement at George Benson's Breezin' Lounge, Grant collapsed in his car of a heart attack in New York City on January 31, 1979. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, and was survived by six children. Since Green's demise, his reputation has grown and many compilations of both his earlier (post-bop/straight ahead and soul jazz) and later (funkier/dancefloor jazz) periods, exist.

Equipment

Green used a Gibson ES-330, then a Gibson L7 with a Gibson McCarty pickguard/pick-up, an Epiphone Emperor (with the same pick-up) and finally had a custom-built D'Aquisto. According to fellow guitarist George Benson, Grant achieved his tone by turning off the bass and treble settings of his amplifier, and maximizing the midrange. This way he could get his signature punchy, biting tone.

Discography

As leader

Blue Note Records
Recording DateTitleRelease Date
1960-61First Session2001
1961Grant's First Stand1961
1961Green Street1961
1961Sunday Mornin'1961
1961Grantstand1961
1961Remembering1980
1961Gooden's Corner1980
1962Nigeria1980
1962Oleo1980
1962Born to Be Blue1985
1962The Latin Bit1962
1962Goin' West1969
1962Feelin' the Spirit1962
1963Blues for Lou1999
1963Am I Blue1963
1963Idle Moments1964
1964Matador1979
1964Solid1979
1964Talkin' About!1964
1964Street of Dreams1964
1965I Want to Hold Your Hand1965
1969Carryin' On1969
1970Green Is Beautiful1970
1970Alive!1970
1971Live at Club Mozambique2006
1971Visions1971
1971Shades of Green1971
1971The Final Comedown1972
1972Live at The Lighthouse1972
Other labels
Recording DateTitleLabelRelease DateNotes
1961Reaching OutBlack Lion Records[8]1961Originally released in 1961 as Dave Bailey Quintet, Reaching Out (Jazztime JT-003). Reissued in 1973 as Grant Green, Green Blues (Muse Records-MR 5014) 1973. Reissued in 1989 as Grant Green, Reaching Out (Black Lion Records-BLCD760129).
1965His Majesty King FunkVerve1965
1967Iron CityCobblestone1972
1976The Main AttractionKudu1976
1978EasyVersatile1978

As sideman

1959
  • Jimmy Forrest – All the Gin Is Gone (Delmark)
  • Jimmy Forrest – Black Forrest (Delmark)
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1969
1970
1973
  • Houston Person – The Real Thing (Eastbound)