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Green, Grant – “Grant’s First Stand ” – [Blue Note]

Thurston Hunger   9/21/2006   CD, Jazz

Grant Green is a guitarist I’ve heard more about than actually
heard. So it was nice to check out this, a CD reissue of his
first release under his own name, a sweet and swinging trio.
Indeed for me the revelation here is Roosevelt Willette aka
“Baby Face;” his work on the hammond is heavy-duty, especially
when he gets to take a turn soloing. “Baby Face” has got the
peach fuzz on his deep notes, at times he teams up and rides
tandem with Green (like on the one number Willette penned here,
“Baby’s Minor Lope”). That works really well, Green’s guitar
is so clean…it’s amazing to read in these liner notes and
elsewhere how his ear was built on Charlie Parker and then run
through his electric guitar. I expected a bit more Sharrock
and awe, but Green does bring a toe-tap bee-bop to flight,
he likes to hit a note that goes…screeeee like someone
leaning their head back in a convertible. “Miss Ann’s Tempo”
takes you on that ride…that’s the one freeway trip,
everything else shifts down a bit towards a bluesy drive
along the beach. Too bad his real life ended on the road,
heart-attack in a car RIP 1979, and rumour has it his system
wasn’t as clean as his tone. Bum ride.
-Thurston Hunger

Haiku Review

Clean Green string machine
Baby Face near steals the scene
With his wry Hammond

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