Jun 18, 2022
The hard-swinging saxophonist Grant Stewart has been leading quartets for years. His latest album, The Lighting Of The Lamps (Cellar Music), features regular collaborators, bassist David Wong, pianist Tardo Hammer and drummer Phil Stewart. However, in a twist, the group is joined by special guest trumpeter Bruce Harris for a searching, straight-ahead date.
The Toronto-born bandleader has collaborated with the likes of Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern, Louis Hayes and Clark Terry in the past, as well as recording over twenty albums as leader or co-leader. I'm especially fond of his three "Reeds and Deeds" albums with co-leader Eric Alexander.
The Lighting Of The Lamps doesn't break any new ground, but for Stewart that's not necessarily a bad thing - his albums are full of tunes that swing and ballads that lilt with style and excitement. The addition of Harris to the mix adds another color to the musical palette, and he rips off a few furious solos to boot.
Podcast 914 is my conversation with Grant (apologies for some poor sound quality at times - Grant was outside for our call and there was some noise pollution) as well talk about his choice of Bruce Harris to work with, and why he returns again and again to compositions by Elmo Hope, Clifford Jordan and Thad Jones. Musical selections from The Lighting Of The Lamps include "Mo is On" and "Little Spain."