Feb 17, 2019
This is Part Two of my conversation with bass great Larry
Grenadier. Part One was primarily about the release of his first
solo bass album, The Gleaners on ECM Records. This
podcast allows me to get into some stories about the many great
recordings and bands he has played with over the past thirty
For most of his career, Grenadier has been one third of the Brad
Mehldau Trio, first with Jorge Rossy and now with Jeff Ballard.
This piano trio returned “The Art of the Trio” to the jazz
nomenclature with their telepathic sense of making music, and their
ability to play pop tunes from Soundgarden, Radiohead and Nick
Drake with the same reverence and harmonic inventiveness they
brought to jazz standards.
Over the course of our talk, Larry reminisces about playing with
a number of great artists. A partial list of those artists we
discussed follows, with corresponding musical selections from the
- Charles Lloyd’s band during his ECM “comeback period”, which
began in the late Eighties and built through the next two decades.
On the title track from The Water is Wide (2000),
Larry was part of a dream band featuring Lloyd, Mehldau, guitarist
John Abercrombie and drummer Billy Higgins.
- He joined with Chris Potter for his 2013 ECM release
The Sirens, from which “Wine Dark Sea” appears.
The band had an unusual configuration – two pianos, played by Craig
Taborn and David Virelles, plus Grenadier on bass, Potter on
saxophone and bass clarinet and Eric Harland on drums.
- One of the Brad Mehldau Trio’s favorite encores is this cover
of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Hey Joe.” This version, from the 2012
release Where Do you Start, features Mehldau,
Grenadier and Jeff Ballard (drums).
- Larry recorded four releases that featured Pat Metheny, two
with the Mehldau Trio joining Pat to create a quartet, and
Metheny’s Trio from 2000 with drummer Bill Stewart. “(Go) Get It”
won Metheny a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.
- Stewart remains a collaborator for Grenadier, most recently in
the 2018 CD Band Menu. A trio recording, this time
it matches Grenadier and Stewart with rising star Walter Smith III
on saxophone. “Good Goat” comes from that album.