|The Complete Blue Note Recordings (2 CD set)|
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Fomr Weaver of Dreams (Disc 1):
1. Nothing Personal
3. A Weaver of Dreams
4. His Majesty the Baby
5. I Want to Be Happy
7. Or Come Fog
8. Five Bars
From Nighttown (Disc 2):
1. Heart of Darkness
2. What Is This Thing Called Love?
3. One Bird, One Stone
4. Night Town
6. Spot That Man
7. The Cost of Living
8. Blues for Pop
Detailed Description / Musicians--Scott Yanow
Don Grolnick Piano, Arranger, Producer
Michael Brecker - Sax (Tenor), Liner Notes
Randy Brecker - Trumpet
Marty Ehrlich - Clarinet (Bass)
Peter Erskine - Drums
Dave Holland - Bass
Joe Lovano - Sax (Tenor)
Bob Mintzer - Clarinet (Bass)
Barry Rogers - Trombone
Bill Stewart - Drums
Steve Turre - Trombone
Don Grolnick had such a successful career as a commercial keyboardist, playing with the likes of James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Steely Dan, and James Brown, among others, that it was often forgotten that his roots were in jazz. In 1989, he recorded the album Weaver of Dreams and nearly three years later led Nighttown. All of the music from the two dates are reissued on this two-CD set without any additional material. In both cases, Grolnick utilizes an unusual four-horn front line featuring trumpeter Randy Brecker, either Barry Rogers or Steve Turre on trombone, and Michael Brecker or Joe Lovano on tenor, and has a prominent bass clarinet (either Bob Mintzer or Marty Ehrlich). The unpredictable arrangements, which cover a wide range of styles, are quite colorful, sometimes hinting at Dixieland and swing, and are open to the influence of Charles Mingus. Grolnick himself (heard throughout on acoustic piano) is well showcased on "A Weaver of Dreams," and his eccentric and joyful reworking of "I Want to Be Happy" is a classic. Well worth exploring.
All Music Guide
| ||Available Items by Don Grolnick|| ||About Don Grolnick|| |
Jazz, Don Grolnick once said with sly understatement, is an art "in which the risks are great, the rewards subtle."
But it was always his truest passion. As a youth growing up in Levittown, New York, Don became captivated by the sound of jazz. He once told an interviewer, "My father took me to see Count Basie, and I just went crazy. I didn't know why or what it was, it was just swinging so hard -- and I didn't even know what swinging meant." His first instrument was the accordion, although he soon switched to his grandparents piano.
The young musician began to immerse himself in the sounds of blues, bebop, and post-bop. He absorbed the music of Erroll Garner, Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, Bobby Timmons, Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Horace Silver, to name just a few. While still a teenager, Don began to write songs and arrangements.
Don went on to attend Tufts University, majoring in philosophy. Sometime during his college years, he met up with saxophonist Michael Brecker. After Don returned to New York in 1969, Brecker asked him to join the seminal jazz fusion band Dreams. Around this time, Don also began to explore mainstream pop and funk music. As was his custom, Don threw himself into the genre, listening hard to find out what really made the music move. And indeed, he developed a pop and R&B touch so skillful and authentic that it misled some listeners (and perhaps a few critics) into seeing Don as an arriviste when he later returned to his jazz roots.
In a short time Don became a sought-after session musician. Don eventually worked on hundreds of recordings with artists like Linda Ronstadt, Steely Dan, and Bonnie Raitt. In 1974, he began what was to become a long musical partnership with James Taylor.