Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jerry Granelli Let Go Plunge 2012

Let Go...Sound advise that most seasoned musicians and educators alike would confirm that if you really want to play - then sometimes you need to let go. In the movie Caddyshack the line was , "Be The Ball Noonan" but you feel me. Percussion sensai Jerry Granelli takes this fundamental concept of simply letting the music be and embraces this zen like concept to an amazingly high level of artistic achievement.

In the middle of 2011, Granelli opted to begin a trio based project with bassist Simon Fisk and saxophonist Danny Oore. Tunes were constructed, deconstructed, remodled and fine tuned to the point where the power of the music overtakes those responsible for its presentation. No stranger to the trio format having worked with such luminaries as Vince Guaraldi, Denny Zeitlin and Mose Allison, Let Go marked the departure of first call percussive master to that of band leader and Granelli makes the transition effortless.

Opening with "Bones" there is a delightfully mysterious edge to a sexy little number that is reminiscent of the sweet young thing you meet right when they announce "last call!" You really are not totally sure of the destination but the feeling is so right you don't actually care. Shifting meter, playful dynamics and slightly more open-ended boarding on the more free form jazz this tunes takes you to the dark recesses of sonic fullfillment. "Leaving" is another composition full of subtle nuances while establishing its own melodic sense of purpose. The remarkable aspect to Let Go is the musical cohesion, three premier soloists playing as one voice but allowing the other the room to explore their own lyrical development of each tune. A critics nightmare. Post bop? Hard bop? Free jazz? Yet another hybrid branch to stick on the jazz family tree of simply down and dirty jazz played at it's very core? Let's call it music...Really good music! The release closes with a number featuring vocalist Mary Jane Lamond in an organic and incredibly ambient setting that is the perfect closer from one of the better thought out releases you may hear all year.

Tracks: Bones; Dango; Solaria; Letter To Bjork; Leaving 1313; Under A Chinese Saloon; A Chinese Saloon; A Woman Who Wants To Waltz; Vulnerable.

Personnel: Jerry Granelli: drums; Simon Fisk: acoustic bass, ello; Danny Oore: tenor, soprano, baritone saxophones; Mary Jane Lamond: vocals.