Grimes, Henry Trio – “Live at the Kerava Jazz Fest ” – [Ayler Records]
Not many jazz musicians have a back story as interesting as that of bassist Henry Grimes. Trained at Julliard, Grimes spent the 1960’s as sideman to jazz legends like Coltrane, Mingus, Shepp, Ayler, Rollins, and others. Then around 1970, Grimes moved to the West coast and dropped out of the jazz scene entirely. Spending most of the 70’s battling with manic depression and working odd jobs, Grimes completely lost touch with his former jazz associates, and even sold his bass! Then in 2002, he was re-located by writer and social worker Marshall Marrotte, who re-introduced Grimes to the music world through an influential article in The Wire. Given a new bass to play by William Parker, Grimes was soon ready for more musical action. This live trio date, featuring Hamid Drake on drums and David Murray on sax and clarinet, finds Grimes on equal footing with his forward-thinking counterparts. The trio format, in particular, seems to be a good one for showcasing the bass, and Grimes contributes two of the four original compositions here, as well. Energetic and passionate playing from all involved.