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HENRY GRIMES QUINTET
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HENRY GRIMES QUINTET
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HENRY GRIMES (Bass) QUINTET
ROY CAMPBELL, JR. (Trumpet and Cornet), ROB BROWN (Saxophone), ANDREW BEMKEY (Piano), MICHAEL THOMPSON (Drums)
And
DAVID S. WARE (Saxophone) QUARTET
MATHEW SHIPP (Piano), WILLIAM PARKER (Bass), GUILLERMO BROWN (Drums)

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

at
Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC
212.582.2121
www.iridiumjazzclub.com

Media Contact: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services
jazzpromo@earthlink.net

July 8, 2003

Jazz Promo Notes by Jim Eigo (Edited):

Master bassist Henry Grimes, missing from and presumed dead by the music world since the late '6O's, was recently discovered to be living in a single room occupancy hotel in South Central Los Angeles, in good health and state of mind, though pretty much destitute. He'd been living in the same room for the past 2O years, but had long ago sold his bass for survival needs and has since contented himself with writing poetry, trying a bit of acting, doing construction work and odd jobs, and surviving on Social Security income. The person who found Henry Grimes last year is a young social worker named Marshall Marrotte, who lives in Athens, Georgia.

Between the mid~'5O's and the mid~'6O's, the Juilliard~educated Henry Grimes played brilliantly on some 5O albums with an enormous range of musicians, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Perry Robinson, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, Rev. Frank Wright, and many more ... and then one day, for reasons largely having to do with the way things were in those times, he simply walked away from the music world and disappeared.

David S. Ware has been playing the saxophone for over 40 years, rising first to prominence as part of the fertile NYC Loft Jazz era of the '70s. The '90s saw the full actualization of this group, and the recognition of David S. Ware as a true saxophone colossus. This was perhaps the most highly acclaimed group of the last decade. David's efforts were rewarded by being one of the very few Jazz musicians whose work was appreciated by an audience outside the narrow confines of the Jazz World. In an unprecedented coup, the 'Cryptology' album garnered the Lead Review slot in Rolling Stone Magazine- writers and Jazz fans alike referred to the David S. Ware Quartet as "the most exciting jazz ensemble since the classic John Coltrane Quartet." (Jazz Promo Notes).

The Henry Grimes Quintet, at times, has the midnight in New York sound, with muffles trumpet and drums, and nice lead switches, as each musician respectfully steps aside, as another plays the lead. Roy Campbell's wailing trumpet was reminiscent of Miles Davis, with tiny trills in the midst of very sexy, muffled tones. Henry Grimes, an unassuming presence onstage, seemed to caress his bass with unusually smooth rhythms. These five musicians seemed to conduct a candlelight conversation, with the addition of tambourine to the extended percussion solos and freewheeling riffs.

The signature style of this Quintet is edgy and atonal, which grew on me during this second set. They were relaxed and improvisational, quintessential "Cool Cats", with Andrew Bemkey in a fisherman's cap. As one musician would provide a new theme, another would expand upon it, with an inspired imitative quality that created a very interesting series of musical passages. Henry Grimes would glance at Roy Campbell and Rob Brown, at the end of a bass passage, and the trumpet and saxophone would re-enter. Roy Campbell has the capacity to bring his trumpet or cornet to some of the darkest and lowest sounds I've heard, an evocative and emotional addition to the group improvisation.

There was also a classical genre to this Quintet, as Henry Grimes used his bow to full effect, in such a way that would be appropriate for New Music ensembles at Juilliard or Merkin. Mr. Grimes' bass is a new, shiny, honey colored instrument, and Mr. Grimes brought it to its maximum potential, with mesmerizing sounds, which often led to unique musical conversations between bass and percussion. I wish Mr. Grimes well on his re-vitalized musical career.

The David S. Ware Quartet generates a sound that transcends music. It brings you to another place. This is Avant Garde music, a "Downtown" sound. William Parker's bass sported a red velvety cover, which may have enhanced the muffled softness of its tones. David S. Ware, in a wild, orange, African styled outfit, plays an equally wild saxophone, with a hurricane of sound that invites a thundering series of syncopated percussion riffs by Guillermo Brown, that have a New Age feel. Mr. Parker's bow adds an Eastern motif, almost yoga-like, with a floating rhythm. During one of Mr. Ware's extended solos, Mr. Brown added a Latin beat that brought the sound to a danceable, but fused rhythm. However, the following piece had a more decided Latin quality, with a clave beat. Mr. Ware initiated this piece with a few notes, then sat down to observe the result, before rejoining the Quartet with his blazing sax, when the momentum builds. His saxophone is both plaintive and powerful.

This was a nice evening at Iridium Jazz Club.


Mike Thompson, Drummer, and Hilliard Greene, a Guest (See Hill Greene Bass Review)
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Chris Sullivan, Bassist, a Guest
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Hilliard Greene, Roy Campbell, Trumpet Player, and Friend
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Hilliard Greene and Jim Eigo, Publicist
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Henry Grimes, Bassist
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Henry Grimes and Jim Eigo (jazzpromo@earthlink.net)
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



Henry Grimes Quintet
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower



David S. Ware, Saxophonist
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net