Mr. Wiggle Worm: Danny Grissett Concert Review

By Beran Pacaci for Jazz Dergisi


Jazz audiences, who have been unable to visit concert halls for a long time, were able to experience a live performance once again on the 11th of October, Monday, at CRR Concert Hall with Danny Grissett Quartet’s concert. I observed that Danny Grissett and Joshua Ginsburg shared this longing during the short conversation we had at the backstage; they haven’t been able to give concerts for almost 1.5 years and only were able to attend small events. Danny Grissett gave only 10 concerts in 2020. Therefore, the CRR concert was like a new beginning. The sincere and energetic playing of the musicians took the audience right back to the old days!

It was evident that Danny Grissett brought a solid band with him and this could be seen in their harmony right from the first piece which was in the style of post-bop. Danny Grissett, who is a member of the faculty at Jam Music Lab University in Vienna, was accompanied by double bass player Joshua Ginsburg from Berlin, tenor saxophone player Seamus Blake with his fluent and soft tone and young drummer Marc Michel with his contortionist-like movements.

Danny Grissett had previously performed at Nardis Jazz Club with in the April of 2016 with Jeremy Pelt Quartet and with “Vanessa Rubin and Trio” in November 2017 during the Akbank Jazz Festival at The Seed in Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

Danny Grissett has included standards written by prominent jazz composers/musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson and Irving Berlin in his 6 solo albums as well as his own compositions. He has been featured as a sideman in 30 albums in addition to these, which include Ozan Musluoğlu’s “40th Day” (2011) album and Ferit Odman’s “Dameronia With Strings” (2015).

The following are the pieces Danny Grissett Quartet performed at CRR Concert Hall, in order:

Woody’n You – Dizzy Gillespie – Album: Remembrance (2017)
Lament for Bobby – Danny Grissett – Album: Remembrance (2017)
Viennese Summer – Danny Grissett – Album: Stride (2011)
Some Other Time – Danny Grissett – Album: Stride (2011)
Blue J – Danny Grissett – Album: The In-Between (2015)
Prelude to a Kiss – Duke Ellington – Album: Remembrance (2017)
Stride – Danny Grissett – Album: Stride (2011)
Mr. Wiggle Worm – Danny Grissett – Album: The In-Between (2015)
When I Get There

Danny Grissett mentioned that he dedicated Remembrance, recorded in 2015, to his brother, Robert Grissett Jr. He also wrote “Blue J” and “Mr. Wiggle Worm” from his album The In-Between for his son. Grissett’s grandmother used to say “You cannot keep still like a wiggle worm” when he was younger. He says his son is exactly like him in this sense.

“Some Other Time” was a moving and emotional ballad among the pieces we listened to during this concert on the 11th of October. I suggest you start with this piece if you had never listened to Danny Grissett before.