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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

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 years.

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 podcast, including:

  • 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.