home   419   architexts   avant gardening   counter culture   monomusic   over here over there   politricks   superimposed cities
Monocular Times

||| Search Monocular Times |||

||| monomusic |||
Record reviews:

Live reviews:


||| links |||
home ||| monomusic |||
The Call album cover ||| Henry Grimes Trio: The Call |||
[Get Back]

Henry Grimes (bass)
Perry Robinson (clarinet)
Tom Price (percussion)

This timely reissue of Henry Grimes' first recorded outing as a leader perfectly illustrates the incredibly creative 'new music' scene of 1960's New York.

It is timely for a number of reasons. Firstly, because its re-release earlier this year coincided with the astonishing revelation that Henry Grimes was alive and living in South Central LA, where he'd been for over 30 years. The Wire and another magazine Signal To Noise both recently featured interviews with the reclusive Grimes, generally presumed to have passed away unheralded at some point since his disappearance in the late 60's.

Since being rediscovered, William Parker has given him a bass and he's started to play again, initially appearing on separate occasions alongside Parker and guitar player Nels Cline. Since then, he's been appearing at a number of Los Angeles venues and returned to New York for a triumphant series of concerts in May that spanned 5 days.

This reissue is also timely because a number of related reissues have surfaced recently - to name a couple, Frank Lowe's 'Black Beings' and Sunny Murray's 'Sunny's Time Now'. Like them, 'The Call' has long been referred to as one of free music's finest lesser known and very hard to find albums. Renewed views of improvised jazz are being afforded beyond the better known realms of its major purveyors, who have until recently hogged the reissue schedule.

Grimes opens the album with some frenetic scratchy bass bowing, rapidly joined by the other players, who then mutate the pace into a wonderful haunting melody. A brief stop, and Perry Robinson rips out clarinet scribblings and the pace is set again. The wide pallet of sounds, moods and stylings, defines the album from the outset. The music is by turns ponderous and thoughtful, or tetchy and bustling. It swings too, as on For Django, whose dark rumbling beginnings give way to infectious, antsy play centred around Tom Price's busy drumming.

Grimes is renowned for his contribution to many of Albert Ayler's recordings, but this session finds him in musical territory that often recalls the experiments of AACM members like Anthony Braxton or the Art Ensemble of Chicago, rather than fiery New York purveyors of the New Thing. There is also a debt to Ornette Coleman style composition, particularly on Walk On and Saturday Night What Th'. While pieces often erupt into action, the album is notable for its spaciousness, and the restless details of interplay rather than combustion and power.

Perry Robinson's playing throughout is exemplary, as often firing off staccato phrases over a roiling underbelly of activity as reiterating melodic lines. By turns reminiscent of Ornette Coleman and at other times recalling Eric Dolphy, it seems surprising that he never became much better known among free jazz players. Interestingly, he has been playing with Grimes again since his reappearance.

'The Call' is an important reissue. It confirms Henry Grimes as one of the most creative bass players in 1960s New York, as well as adding further to the mythology of ESP-disk who first issued it. Their policy of allowing complete creative control by the artist allowed many great, idiosyncratic recordings to be released. 'The Call' is one of the finest.


Henry Grimes website
Henry Grimes discography

No-Neck Blues Band

 Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong and Jung Eunju at RELAY 04, 2005

||| currently listening to |||
  • William S. Burroughs - The Instrument of Control [Archivio Letterario]
  • Miles Davis - In A Silent Way [Columbia]
  • Bill Dixon - In Italy [Soul Note]
  • Will Gaines & Derek Bailey - Rappin & Tappin [Incus]
  • Guided By Voices - Alien Lanes [Matador]
  • Choi Joonyong - White Disc Ver.2 [Balloon & Needle]
  • Merzbow - Eucalypse [Soleilmoon]
  • Taku Sugimoto & Annette Krebs - Eine gitarre ist eine guitarre... [Rossbin]
  • Ryu Hankil, Jin Sangtae, Choi Joonyong - 5 Modules I [Manual]
  • Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide - Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves [Balloon & Needle]
||| about copyright ||| disclaimer |||
||| email the Organism |||  monoculartimes-at-ntlworld-dot-com |||
the many moods of The Organism