Pianist Darrell Grant has carved out a worldwide trail from his Pacific Northwest base of operations. His latest release is "Truth and Reconciliation," a two-disc effort that is as honest and earnest as ever. If you ever cross paths with him, he will strike you as a gentle soul - and his musical approach tends to reflect that as well as fluidity. One reviewer said the recording "might be categorized as music to make the world a better place."
Born in 1962 in Pittsburgh and raised in Denver, the well-versed Grant earned a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and eventually made his way to New York City, where he played with first-tier jazz musicians.
This recording underscores his stature as he worked with rhythm mates John Patitucci on bass and drummer Brian Blade. Not too shabby. Augmenting "Truth and Reconciliation" are several wonderful musicians, including vibraphonist Joe Locke, multi-instrumentalist Steve Wilson and guitarist Bill Frisell.
Although there are originals here, Grant and his cohorts take an interesting approach. Sting's "King of Pain" and Sheryl Crow's "I Shall Believe" serve as a backdrop to John F. Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural Address and a pair of oft-cited Martin Luther King Jr. speech-sermons, "I Have a Dream" and "I've Been to the Mountaintop."
Grant obviously is a committed person, for he also incorporates a smattering of words from a number of peace-loving individuals. He cites such individuals as Mahatma Gandhi, Desmond Tutu, Franklin Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela and wraps them up in an extremely accessible format that borders on the likes of R&B and Motown.