Danny Grissett is definitely one of today’s most exciting and respected pianists. The go-to keyboard man for the likes of Tom Harrell, Jeremy Pelt, Wayne Escoffey, and others, Grissett also finds time to lead his own groups and is a composer of considerable merit. A rare artist who grips and holds attention, Grissett handles the classics of the American songbook with aplomb equal to the way he deals with the rather complex structures of his own intricate compositions. A gifted improviser with splendid technique, the pianist can also offer warmth and affection in melodic lines, the balance of fine taste, pungent swing, and a jubilant approach inevitably generating audience cheer.
The Danny Grisett & Dado Moroni Duo
Dado Moroni was born and raised in Genoa, Italy, and took to jazz early on. “My parents bought a piano for my sister, but she didn’t show a lot of interest in it. When I came along, I was immediately taken with it from the age of three. My father was always playing jazz records in the house – people like Earl Hines, Fats Waller, and Count Basie. I fell in love with those records and started trying to imitate them on the piano. My mother, who played accordion, saw how interested I was in the instrument, and put me on her lap to explain the difference between major and minor chords. And that was the beginning!”
Originally self-taught, Moroni eventually took the advice of a family friend and studied piano formally, eventually gigging with local Italians and visiting American musicians as well. Unsure he would be able to mount a successful career in music, Moroni actually enrolled in law school. But a chance encounter accompanying famed bebop trumpet pioneer, Dizzy Gillespie, would forever alter Moroni’s musical path, when the elder jazz statesman told him, ‘Man, there are too many lawyers out there. You should play the piano!’ “That was the turning point,” Moroni said. “I decided right there that I could make a living doing what I loved to do. So, I took him seriously, and quit law school!”
During his long career, Dado has collaborated with Ray Brown, Jesse Davis, Tom Harrell, and Lee Konitz. Although his stylish and vigorous playing is heavily bop influenced, Moroni’s performances often reveal touches of those early piano influences like Waller and Art Tatum, which help to bring a satisfyingly broad texture to his playing.