Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Jerry Granelli's Back To The Future

It is rare that an artist gets more adventurous with age. When most people are thinking about comfort and going with what works, there are a handful left who are not afraid of the unknown. Jerry Granelli, who performs tomorrow night at the NAC's  Fourth Stage with his long-time trio, fits this like no other.

The first line on his bio page sums it up:
"On December 30th of 2010 Jerry Granelli turned 70. 45 years ago he was peaking as a commercially successful Jazz drummer - playing with Vince Guaraldi [A Charlie Brown Christmas]. It was shortly after that success that Jerry took a hard turn left into the world of improvisation and musical exploration. He has never looked back."

He has lived through the history of jazz, having been around during the times of the greats like Gene Krupa. Over the years he established himself as a hallmark of the San Francisco Jazz scene until he moved and finally ending up in Halifax. What is most impressive about Jerry is how he has taken on new generations of musicians and music. With a lust for being on the cutting edge, he has crossed genres and art forms in search of what his "cutting edge" means. If you explore Jerry's Film & Media page on his website you will see the wide range of expression that he has taken on: spoken word, dance, visual art, inside and out. In light of all the avenues that Jerry has explored, the common thread is the depth of his expression: his groove is as deep as can be and not only does he surround himself with very informed musicians, Granelli understands how to play in each instance to make the band sound simply perfect. In essence, that is the hardest characteristic to master in the art of exploration.

Tomorrow night, Jerry will be joined by like minded musicians bassist Simon Fisk and saxophonist Danny Oore. A show not to be missed.

And if that's not enough?
One of the most creative musicians in town will be performing an opening set with his new quartet. The forward-looking trumpeter Craig Pedersen will be joined by drummer Mike Essoudry (of the Mike Essoudry's Mash Potato Mashers), Linsey Wellman on alto saxophone and Montreal bassist Joel Kerr. Craig is writing some exciting music informed by artists such as John Zorn, AACM, Dave Douglas and it will be very exciting to hear this quartet tomorrow as well.

Wednesday Oct 12th, 7:30pm at the NAC's Fourth Stage

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