Granelli: Music Has Its Way With Me: Release Information
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Release Date: 04.06.2000
TT Catalogue No: 4451
The past decade has been good to Jerry Granelli. Jazz Times magazine calls Granelli one of those uncategorizable veteran percussionists who's done it all. With this latest release, he shows there's still a lot more to come. Granelli bums with an intensity fuelled by a passion for the pursuit of the spirit of spontaneity which drives the player." A veteran of the jazz scene, Granelli's recent flourish of recordings has resulted in a truely remarkable collaboration between the generations. "Music Has lts Way With Me", Granelli's new album on Perimeter Records, brings together his 40-plus years of experience in the jazz world headlong together with DJ Stinkin' Rich's 90's atitude. A fiery, passionate stew of hip-hop and cool jazz, "Music Has lts Way With Me" is a distinctive new flavour. A new music. This is the state of Jazz in 1999.
Jerry Granelli's story is one that follows the evolution of the jazz scene. He was born in 1940 in San Francisco, his legend begins in 1948 with Gene Krupa. After spending a day with the influential drummer, the 8-year old Granelli recognized his passion. Hanging out in legendary San Francisco nightclubs like the Blackhawk, Jimbo's Bop City and the Edge Water, soaking in the big band sounds of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and others, his passion grew, eventuaIly leading him to legendary drummer for Dave Brubexk - Joe Morollo. After two years as Morello's star pupil, Granelli became a highly sought after session player, eventually playing, recording and touring with the Vince Guaraldi Band. Granelli provides the unmistakable steady swing beats for the classic Charlie Brown 'Peanuts' theme song.
Following the twisted trail of the volatile jazz scene of the 60's, Granelli joined the Denny Zeitlin Trio, a group that included bassist Charlie Haden. A hugely successful recording and touring band, they tied for Group of the Year honours in Downbeat magazine's Critics and Readers Poll in 1965, with the Miles Davis Group. With his free-form improvisational band, Granelli held down the opening slot for comedian Lenny Bruce, laying the groundwork for "Music Has lts Way With Me".
Through the 60's and into the 70's, Granelli worked as a session player slamming solid beats for many of the innovators of the scene; Ornette Coleman, Mose Allison, Lou Rawls and Sly Stone.
An innovator himself, Granelli always finds himself at the centre of the scene - musical or otherwise: as the opening act for Lenny Bruce, an opening slot on the 1972 Grateful Dead tour, Granelli was right there as the West Coast focus shifted from the hard bop styles to the beginnings of psychedelia with the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.
Through the 70's and into the 80's, Granelli focused on teaching in various prestigious music programs, bringing his insider knowledge to hundreds of hungry students at the Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado, Seattle's Cornish Institute and the Conservatory in Halifax, Nova Scotia and as a Professor at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin.
Living and working in Halifax, brought him in contact with Halifax-based hip-hop DJ Stinkin' Rich for a film and a one-off show at the Atlantic Jazz Festival in Halifax, N.S. The success of those shows led to some demos and eventually a full blown album."Music Has Its Way With Me" will stun you with its solid groove and passionate vision. Acclaimed hip-hop DJ Stinkin' Rich rappin' is true to form, thoughtful, intelligent and lyrical.
BUT WHO IS STINKIN' RICH?
Rich has emerged as a central figure on the scene, as well as one of Canada's most talented and influential hip-hop artists. In 1999, he has been working on at least four different projects - inciuding the amazing collaboration with legendary jazz drummer Jerry Granelli.
While in his teens, Rich was torn between a promising baseball career and his interest in music from the street. Scouted by the New York Yankees, his big break was inevitable. He just needed to finish high school and he was in. Unfortunately, his baseball prospects ended with die ill-timed heart attack of his scout. Crushed, Rich turned his focus and energy to music.
Rich first met Jerry Granelli during the filming of a documentary on Jerry's Iife. That led to a one-off "Drum-and-DJ" show at the Atlantic Jazz Festival in 1997. lt's that furious jam of percussive jazz and fluid, sociaIly conscious hip-hop which throws the doors of jazz and hip-hop wide open - making anything possible. The sheer energy and excitement from that show eventually led to the 'uniquely millennial beat-poetry', as the Montreal Gazette dubs Music Has lts Way With me.
Rich's extensive discography, with releases on Toronto's 4 Ways to Rock, San Francisco's Anticon, Toronto's Hand Solo and on murdere-cords showcases his limitless talent. Stinkin' Rich's music has been featured in NBA ads and Rich even snuck in an appearance on Sesame Street's "Grocery Store Rap".
Although Rich was already referencing jazz in his music, the Granelli project has allowed him to blow his horizons wide open. A lot of work he is doing with Granelli is close to free-form, almost spoken word, paying homage to the beat poetry of Kerouac.
Audiences and critics have been thrilled about what they hear. Sold-out shows at the Atlantic Jazz Festival and rave reviews about their recent shows in Toronto and Ottawa can't be wrong. The Ottawa Sun called the recent show one of the Top Ten of the Year. Sandy MacDonald from the Daily News says "with Rich's groovin' spoken word... alongside Granelii's drumming, the CD is an entrancing listen. Reminds me of an old Kerouac recording."
Jerry Granelli has bridged the generations with an album that brings together 50 years of music in a way only someone who has lived through it can.