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j lee

Grant Green redux

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Yeah, like everybody, I've heard all his albums a million times.

But I'm still keeping in the CD-changer in the car "Feelin The Spirit" and "Grant's First Stand."

It's hard to imagine that in the latter album, with Baby Face Willette using that vibrato choice, at the age of...I guess thirty or so, Grant Green was already about fully formed.

I'm still trying to get my head around just how many melodies he came up with that seems to me off the regular diminished scale (W-H, you know).  I've done my time transcribing his and Sonny Clark's lines from their albums together, but it just took a few years and a new environment of hearing a couple of albums on repeat while commuting for some new aspects of GG's melodies to sink in.

I couldn't say for sure what the theory is, much less anything about his tone, just a nice refresher to me of how to make a good line, and follow it up with one as good or better.  In a mellow way, of course.

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I agree that GG seems to have been pretty much all there from the start of his recording career.  Do you agree that in the later Funk stuff it;s still the same guy, just in a different setting?  Oh, and there is a lot to be learned from just leaving something in the changer and letting it come up whenever.

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Grant always sounded great. He is easily the equal of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell (whom I also like).

My favorite is the "Gooden's Corner" session, which I play in the order of recording. It opens with a very soulful "Moon River". Grant is ruthless on the title track and the modal "Two For One".

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On 12/27/2018 at 9:50 PM, danasgoodstuff said:

I agree that GG seems to have been pretty much all there from the start of his recording career.  Do you agree that in the later Funk stuff it;s still the same guy, just in a different setting?  Oh, and there is a lot to be learned from just leaving something in the changer and letting it come up whenever.

I do agree.  It really shocked me that so early (well, maybe "late" compared to some prodigies like Ray Charles or somebody), GG just really had it all together.  No, I don't find much difference at all in his lines and his tone, as his years went on. 

But, then again, I'm not really a scholar of GG's music, and I also don't know too much about guitar gear except what I hear and friend/past-bandmates-type thing have passed down by ear. 

On 12/28/2018 at 10:51 AM, Shrdlu said:

Grant always sounded great. He is easily the equal of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell (whom I also like).

My favorite is the "Gooden's Corner" session, which I play in the order of recording. It opens with a very soulful "Moon River". Grant is ruthless on the title track and the modal "Two For One".

Yeah, I did the same thing when working through the US-release of the Sonny Clark collaborations — broke it down into the albums as they were originally programmed.

I'll have to listen to "Moon River" again; the one I spent most time transcribing was "The Things I (We?) Did Last Summer."  The only other person I know who did that tune was Groove Holmes, but it's such an unusual tune.


ETA actually, that could be a fun idea, to sort a bunch of these sides by performance date.  I don't think all the information is there about what exact time everything was recorded on a day, but for a budding young computer programmer, that could be a fun project for doing basic data structures. 

As an aside, I'm impressed by how well, after, say, twenty years, my old redbook CDs have held up:  how many disk drives have I gone through since then?  A lot, that's how many!  These old discs still play.  Vinyl too, but I'm more impressed because of the plastic, digital nature of the CD.

Edited by j lee

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The Jazz Discography Project website gives the order in which a session was recorded, so we can arrange "Gooden's Corner" in the order in which it was played. It comes out well that way.

Like you, I got the U.S. 2CD set of Grant with Sonny. The music got kinda buried there (for me) and I got the separate Japanese CDs of it recently. Musical treasure!

I love "Count Every Star", and let's not forget "Hey There", from another Grant-Sonny session - it was added to the CD of "The Latin Bit".

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On 12/28/2018 at 1:51 PM, Shrdlu said:

Grant always sounded great. He is easily the equal of Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell (whom I also like).

I have no doubt that you enjoy Grant Green as much if not more than Wes or Burrell. However, to assert that his technical or improvisational skills were equal to that of the other two is a mistake.

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16 minutes ago, sonnymax said:

I have no doubt that you enjoy Grant Green as much if not more than Wes or Burrell. However, to assert that his technical or improvisational skills were equal to that of the other two is a mistake.

A blanket statement that begs to be expanded upon.

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

A blanket statement that begs to be expanded upon.

Well, I can't speak for the above-referred poster, but I think it's clear his raw technique (well, at least in terms of speed) was up to anybody's.  Certainly he could play fast bebop lines (see the whole Sonny Clark sides for quite a few examples), but it seems he just didn't want to a lot of the time.

Yeah, I do have to agree that when it comes to creating a concise, memorable solo, a good many of Wes's classic solos probably stand out, for me, more (or equal) to anybody else.

For me, the surprise of "rediscovering" Grant Green is just how much he was able to create with a pretty simplified toolbox. 

No, he's not doing things like Jim Hall on *Intermodulation*, or Wes on a number of records, but he really did make a lot from some pretty simple ideas. 

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I prefer Burrell to Green; both to Montgomery (who I think is kinda boring). I’m not a super-sophisticated listener but yeah, GG’s playing does seem more “basic” than KB & WM whose playing is obviously bebop-derived.

For my taste Green is best as a sideman when sharing space with 2-3 soloists who contrast well with him, for instance IDLE MOMENTS.

Edited by Guy Berger

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3 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

 

The Jazz Discography Project website gives the order in which a session was recorded, so we can arrange "Gooden's Corner" in the order in which it was played. It comes out well that way.

Like you, I got the U.S. 2CD set of Grant with Sonny. The music got kinda buried there (for me) and I got the separate Japanese CDs of it recently. Musical treasure!

I love "Count Every Star", and let's not forget "Hey There", from another Grant-Sonny session - it was added to the CD of "The Latin Bit".

Thanks for the tip. 

If I have a few idle moments that could be a nice little way of organizing the music if I were to rip the CDs to mp3.

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