Darrell Grant is a student of jazz, of life and multiple incarnations, a professor, a side man and scholarly to aspiring to young jazz musicians, which means there's a process at work, from an evolving artist of multiple musical styles to an eventual teacher to spread the word, the joy, to play jazz. Grant has developed that purpose from experience, as pianist for Betty Carter and Chico Freeman and scores of cd's featuring him as a leader. Geri Allen said she learned more about the music through her tenure with Betty Carter. Darrell Grant procreates a similar message in his rendition of Betty Carter's "Tight" in this 2 cd set.
That joyfulness in his music has evolved from years of inner contemplation. Darrell Grant understands how important and substantiative this music can be for human development as abstract conceptions, emotions and their mysterious contradictions wrap around the reptilian core of our essential being. Jazz is the only music language that combines all three. Darrell Grant knows this and his desire is to spread the word to a receptive audience at Portland State and the rest of the world.
There's also this jewel, TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION, a testimonial to his evolving conception as a pianist and writer, for this assertive refining rays of simple and profound melodies taking us through hard bop territory to a spiritual post bop world. Brian Blade, master drummer, John Patitucci, refined spiritual bassist and assorted other top artists, Bill Frisell, Joe Locke, Steve Wilson, Adam Rogers help convey Darrell Grant's vision,
He draws upon his compositional experience "Reconciliation" and "Ubuntu"with Bill Frizell pining on the first and Steve Wilson on "Ubuntu." Then "Cross Of Gold" and the spiritual as Darrell sings and his Rhodes plays with an acoustic slide from Bill Frizell on "When I See The Water." Talk about funky town?! Then there's a nice hard affirmation with Steve Wilson on saxophones in "Blues For The Masters."that jumps off the bandstand. It declares how one of the world's beat rhythm sections can really make it happen! There are excerpts of words of Mohandas Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy. As Darrell Grant comments: "I believe that eloquent words can still make a difference, and that it's not too late to dream about what this nation might yet become."
And what yet may we all become.
Darrell Grant's music is life as revealed in his new cd, "Truth And Reconciliation" declaring a beauty and honesty of this true jazz artist.