Danny Grissett: Remembrance

By George W. Harris For the Jazz weekly

Best known for his work with Tom Harrell and Jeremy Pelt, pianist Danny Grissett is developing his own strong catalogue as a leader, this time with a new team of Dayna Stephens/ts-ss, Vicente Archer/b and Bill Stewart/dr on a mix of originals and jazz standards, dedicated to the memory of his recently departed brother. The team delivers a mature post-bop feel on a sleek read of “Woody ‘N You” with Stephens’ Hank Mobley-toned tenor, while the team digs in deep with Archer’s throbbing pulse and Stewart’s clever use of cymbals on a modern modal “Digital Big Foot.”

Grissett’s touch is both gracious and lyrical, caressing the ivories on an elegant “Prelude to a Kiss” bouncing playfully with Stephens’ soprano on a rare look at  Thelonious Monk’s “Gallop’s Gallop.” His solo intro to his “A Friend Indeed” is so elegant that you almost feel like the rest of the band is intruding when they finally enter, but the sensitive support makes it work. He does deliver a rich solo of “Detour Ahead”  that makes you wish for an entire album of the same, but even on keyboards for the soulful  “Renatous” his pastoral milieu permeates. A strong delivery, as well as consoling memory.