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Jazz - Released March 8, 2010 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 28, 2013 | Dreyfus Jazz

In this final recording with pianist Michel Petrucciani, saxophonist Grossman's usually more extroverted tendencies are willingly sublimated in order to play more romantically inclined mainstream jazz. Many of the tunes are ballads, embellished by Petrucciani's languid or forceful pianistics, while solid bassist Andy McKee and drummer Joe Farnsworth keep the flickering flame alive with their steadying rhythms. Of course the fire has to be stoked on occasion, and Grossman really digs in on the Sonny Rollins evergreen "Why Dont I?" It's perfectly played, a flawless uptempo swinger with head nodding, bluesy elements. Contrasting easy swing with double timed tenor on "Don't Blame Me" shows Grossman as riled up as he gets on this date. There's a samba take of "You Go To My Head" with Petrucciani's solo sporting 16th note flurries, and a moody, pensive waltz version of McKee's "Inner Circle" similar to "You Go To My Head." Two tunes go from ballad to swing and back, Grossman's "Song For My Mother" with the pianist quite animated in the bridge, and Petrucciani's "Parisian Welcome" brought in exclusively for this session, with Grossman the torch burner. The others are straight ballads including classic takes of "Body & Soul" and "Theme For Ernie," the lugubrious interpretation with a highly restrained Petrucciani on "Ebb Tide," and the sax-piano only rendition of "In A Sentimental Mood" as the CD's closer. Fans of Grossman should not wince at this apparent taming of the shrew. In fact, Grossman's pungent tone, never smeary or over pronounced, retains its rich, expressive listenability and tunefulness. It's a beautifully understated recording that is easily recommended, especially for those just discovering veteran Grossman. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released January 28, 2013 | Dreyfus Jazz

For his second Dreyfus Jazz album, Grossman ventures into New York's Sweet Basil club, with a stellar piano trio (McCoy Tyner, Avery Sharp, Art Taylor) in tow. With this kind of firepower, the listener is usually guaranteed a satisfying level of cooking jazz, and that's certainly what we get here, though it seldom rises above that into a higher region. Grossman's tune choices are mostly predictable standards, the one exception being his own cheeky title "Love for Sal," a bop-style number where the bass and then the piano double the tune's lead sax statement. Throughout, Grossman likes to fire away the eighth notes in that pungent, Sonny Rollins-influenced tenor tone, with Tyner often temporarily (and generously) dropping out so that the saxophonist can develop freer melodic patterns over the bass and drums. "Impressions" -- taken virtually at Tyner's late employer John Coltrane's tempo -- does achieve a special ignition, driven hard by Taylor, with some exploration of multiphonics by an inspired Grossman. Otherwise, a mostly solid live session of post-bop. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Dreyfus Jazz

4 Stars - Very Good - "...Grossman still expends considerable energy in an adventurous, questing 1960s mode of expression...crackles with activity...extracts warmth....Harris offers several piano solos that exemplify controlled, profound swinging..." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 14, 1994 | Dreyfus Jazz

This outing is one of tenor-saxophonist Steve Grossman's finest recordings to date. He has mixed together the almost equal influences of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins to achieve his own style and sound. The program is quite strong with its superior yet generally underplayed standards joined by two of the leader's originals, Elvin Jones's "E.J.'s Blues" and Freddie Redd's "Time to Smile"; also the lineup of musicians would be difficult to top. Pianist Willie Pickens shows a lot of versatility on the hard bop-oriented music, trumpeter Tom Harrell (who is on around half of the tracks) is as fiery and alert as usual, bassist Cecil McBee has a strong musical personality that comes across even when restricted to accompanying the soloists, and drummer Elvin Jones remains in prime form. The main focus however is mostly on Grossman and he continues to grow as an improviser year-by-year. Highly recommended. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 1, 1973 | Now Again Records

By the time Steve Grossman released this debut, he and percussionist Don Alias had spent several years recording and touring with Miles Davis. Of course this time spent with the vanguard band of jazz fusion and music, in general, had a profound effect on the musicians and, thus, this album. Some Shapes to Come is an album you can stand up against almost any of the jazz fusion standouts of the '70s. No, it can't go toe to toe with that era's seminal landmark albums (Bitches Brew, Multiple, Black Market, Emergency!, etc), but in terms of artistry, musicianship, and ambition it is among the next tier of thoroughly excellent works. Grossman and Alias teamed with bassist Gene Perla (the three would later comprise the Stone Alliance power trio) and keyboardist Jan Hammer for seven tracks of Afro-Cuban tinged gutter funk and seething jazz. It comes from every angle and direction (only the swinging but fiery "Pressure Point" is straight-ahead, and must have been right up Perla's alley, as he was fresh off a stint with Elvin Jones' band). You'll hear touches of Mwandishi ("Alodian Mode) and even McCoy Tyner ("Haresah"), but no sound is aped. Perla may be the understated star of the album, with every track held together by his linchpin bass work, a thump and grind that are as good as the classic grease Dave Holland, Michael Henderson, and Stanley Clarke were churning out at the time. All you have to do is check "The Sixth Sense," the grimiest tune on the album. Here, the rhythm section offers a groove that, decades later, sounds far more current and hip than most of the recent, rehashed, revisionist rhetoric today's young musicians fall victim to. Hammer, who drops chords as heavy and thick as molasses throughout the album, is almost as responsible as Perla for the album's collective, steady groove. You can also see on his "Sixth Sense" solo why he fit in so well with the more rock-leaning Mahavishnu Orchestra, somehow manipulating his Rhodes to sound like a scorching electric guitar. But smell is the one "sense" that really identifies this album. It's the funk, baby. Everything grooves and bounces. "Zulu Stomp" is one of those jazz songs out of the James Brown breakbeat-ready school of fusion-funk and it also exhibits why Alias could arguably stake a claim as his era's greatest percussionist. It all created the perfect canvas for Steve Grossman to get busy. One could argue that through all his hell-bent solos (using the sax so rhythmically, it's almost like a percussion instrument), he didn't blow one wrong note. There are no lowlights on this album, no soft moments. Often overlooked, it is one of the '70s most unheralded jazz gems. © Vincent Thomas /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 28, 2019 | PM Records

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Jazz - Released October 3, 2008 | Timeless Records