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What's New Picture Biography Discography
Blue Note has recently re-issued three recordings that were previously available only in Japan. The two-disc set is the complete Grant Green/ Sonny Clark quartet sessions. The titles of the three recordings are Gooden's Corner, Oleo and Nigeria. These recordings were re-issed by Mosaic--the small mail order re-issue company--a few years ago in a limited edition box set. However, those recordings were quickly sold out. I advise Grant Green fans to immediately pick up this two-disc set while it is available in retail stores before it goes out of print.
This picture really defined the playing style of Grant Green. He was not a showboat performer. Green would usually play with his legs crossed. He was also a very serious performer. As this picture demonstrates, Green's concentration, even during his live performances, was solely on his playing.
Grant Green was one of the most prolific jazz guitarist of the 1960's. Green was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1931. St. Louis was an influential Jazz city in the late forties and early fifties producing the likes of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Green began playing in local clubs at the age of thirteen. His first professional gig was with the Jimmy Forrest quintet in 1957. This quintet also consisted of Harold Mabern and the great Elvin Jones. Jones and Green would later become consistent recording partners with Blue Note.
Green began his career recording in organ combos. Lou Donaldson, the great alto saxaphonist, discovered Green while on tour in St. Louis and quickly encourged Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, the founders of Blue Note Records, to sign Green. Green immediately became the sideman of choice for the veteran Blue Note artists.
Green's sound was very different than many of his contemporaries. Green's soft playing touch reproduced a bell sound. Rather than listen to other guitar players, Green listend to horn players; his biggest influence was Charlie Parker. This unique sound made Green's presence most effective on ballads. Green played mostly in single-notes rather than chords changes. He always beleived chord changes cluttered up the music. Green's ability to play single-notes swith such quickness and fluidity also contributed to his trademark sound. His recording of the standard "My Favorite Things," with John Coltrane's rythm section, displays both of these skills; this recording remains a classic.
Green became known as a classic be-bop artist. Green's best, and most sentimental recordings, were with other be-bop artists such as Ike Quebec and Sonny Clark, but Green could also play the standard hard bop, avant garde and soul-jazz that really typified the Blue Note sound of the 1960's. However, Green's most popular recording period came in the early seventies when funk was vogue. Like the career of Wes Mongomery, Green sold out to commercialism. His recordings in the seventies are a much lesser quality of playing, but they sold better to the general public.
By 1979, drug use soon caught up with Green. He spent the last few month of his life in a hospital bed recovering from a heart ailment. He tried to go on tour following his relief and suffered a fatal heart attack. Green was only forty-eight. The tragic death was just another reminder of how drugs stole from the jazz community.
This is Grant Green's Blue Note Discography, 1961-1966
This list is not a complete Grant Green discography nor is it his complete discography from 1961-1966. It is just his complete output for Blue Note through the years of 1961-1966--his best years. Green also recorded as a sideman for other labels during these years. He also recorded for other labels before 1961 and after 1966. I deleted his Blue Note recordings after 1966 since they are not representable recordings of Jazz and Grant Green. This was a period when Green, as many other Blue Note recording artists, began recording funk.
I will soon be adding a session index that will include all recording artists and songs associated with each Grant Green recording.
Grant's First Stand--1/28/61
Born to be Blue--3/01/62
The Latin Bit--4/26/62
Feelin' the Spirit--12/21/62
Am I Blue--5/16/63
Street of Dreams--11/16/64
I Want to Hold Your Hand--3/31/65
Lou Donadson/ Here 'Tis--1/23/61
to Grant Green sidemen
Big John Patton