Friday, 1 July 2016

Grant Green - Green Street (1961)

From Grün to Green.  I've had this 1961 Blue Note session in heavy rotation over the past few weeks - it's got the perfect spring in its step for walking around on weekday lunchtimes soaking up the (strictly rationed) Edinburgh summer sunshine.

Out of all of Grant Green's recordings as leader (and there were many - four albums in 1961 alone) this is the sole guitar-bass-drums trio date, and I think that's why it's the one that's stayed with me.  Green's no-frills technique and melodic sensibility is front-and-centre for the entire album - according to George Benson, that clean, punchy tone is all midrange; Grant favoured turning off the bass and treble dials entirely.

Lots to enjoy here - the most atypical track is a slow, smoky club take on Thelonious Monk's 'Round About Midnight, otherwise the highlights are all bluesy and swinging - not least Grant's Dimensons, where Green's melody and technique are on point throughout, and drummer Dave Bailey keeps a phenomenal groove.

Green Street