Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Dream Come True: Grant Green Leads a Hard Bop Band on "Solid"

This past June 12 marked 46 years since a 34-year-old Grant Green recorded Solid with McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones (i.e., half of John Coltrane's famous quartet), James Spaulding, Joe Henderson, and Bob Cranshaw. Fortunately for the verdict on Green's contribution to the evolution of jazz guitar, Blue Note eventually released these tracks. Unfortunately for Green himself, Blue Note did not do so until 1979, after his death. If you were to try to imagine a guitarist's meeting the challenge of fronting a band whose energy and creativity recall that of the Jazz Messengers, dominated as such bands usually are by brass and reeds, you could not come up with something better than this.

Ken Watkins' extended review of Solid discusses Grant's musical distinctiveness in his "100 Greatest Jazz Albums" series.

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