Jul 8, 2015
“One reason why people like improvised music is that it’s a direct reflection of life, not something we thought up. It scares you…makes you think you’re going to die for a moment…do you have the courage to play? Can I move out of my desires and wants, and into compositional choices?” – Jerry Granelli
At the age of 74, you couldn’t blame Jerry Granelli if he were taking things easy. But not this veteran drummer. What I Hear Now is an appropriate title for his latest CD, as Granelli’s augmented trio plays new music sans piano and guitar, creating horn-centric jazz.
Those who have followed Granelli’s career won’t be surprised by these fresh sounds – from the Vince Guaraldi Trio (that’s him on A Charlie Brown Christmas) and Denny Zeitlen Trio to Free Jazz and Psychedelia in ‘60’s San Francisco to sideman gigs with We Five (“You Were on My Mind”) and pre-Family Stone Sly Stone, Granelli has always been ahead of the curve.For those – like me – who are just digging into decades of great music - What I Hear Now is an opportunity to hear an ensemble that owes more to contemporaries like Dewey Redman than to Classic Rock. Check out tunes like “Run Danny Run” for horn action, and “The Swamp” for a tight groove. And who can resist a tune called “Walter White”? Not me!