Thursday June 2nd, 2005
AllAboutJazz-New York Presents 1s & 2s: Music For Solo & Duo"
TED CURSON (trumpet) & HENRY GRIMES (bass)
Ted Curson's 70th Birthday!"
at Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
Greenwich Village, NY 10014
*8:30 and 10pm sets - $12
Philadelphia trumpeter Ted Curson grew up hearing and playing jazz with such greats as Percy, Jimmy, and Albert “Tootie” Heath, as well as Bobby Timmons, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, Odean Pope, Lee Morgan, Reggie Workman, Ray Bryant, and bassist Henry Grimes who he reunites with in this month’s “1s & 2s” performance! He first came to the attention of jazz lovers across the US in the early ‘60s when playing alongside Eric Dolphy in one of the most exciting bands Charles Mingus ever put together. Curson, who describes his career as “one foot in Europe and one foot in America” has since appeared on the stage of almost every major jazz festival in the world – from Monterey, California, and New York City to Bombay, India; Nice, Antibes, and Nancy, France; The Hague in Holland; Cork, Ireland; Kongsberg, Norway; Bled, Yugoslavia; and Pori, Finland.
Although his main instrument is trumpet, Curson’s performance often includes vocals and numbers on piccolo trumpet (a classical instrument) as well as flugelhorn. Curson has formed and led several successful jazz bands including the Ted Curson/Bill Barron Quartet and his own septet, Ted Curson & Company. His bands have featured such outstanding musicians as Nick Brignola (baritone), Chris Woods (alto sax and flute), David Friesen, Mike Richmond, Calvin Hill (bass); Steve McCall, Dick Berk, Adam Nussbaum, and Bruce Cox (drums); Jim McNeely, Kenny Barron, and Michael Cochrane (piano); Montego Joe (percussion), and many others.
For 8 years, Curson hosted an extraordinary late-night open jam session at the Blue Note Club in Greenwich Village where every night top musicians, as well as newcomers to the New York City scene, joined the trumpeter’s quartet on the bandstand to compete with one another and show off their individual styles. This “Open Jam” was widely hailed (in Newsday, Aquarian, Jazz Times, Down Beat, and The New York Times) as a revival of a time-honored institution – the genuine jam session. For the last two years, Curson has hosted another very popular “Open Jam” every month at Trumpets in Montclair, New Jersey.
In 2005 Ted Curson appears for the 40th time on the 40th anniversary program of Finland’s Pori International Jazz Festival. His quartet will be featured at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival near London, England. For this special evening of “1s & 2s”, he plays with his old schoolmate, bassist Henry Grimes.
Master bassist Henry Grimes, missing from the music world since the late '6O's and now living in New York City, has made an unprecedented comeback after receiving the gift of a bass (a green one called Olive Oil!) from fellow bassist William Parker in Dec.20O2 to replace the instrument Henry had given up some 2O years earlier. Between the mid '5Os and the mid '6Os, the Juilliard- educated Grimes played brilliantly on over 5O albums with an enormous range of musicians: Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Perry Robinson, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, and even fellow bassist Charles Mingus.
Then one day in ‘68, for reasons largely related to troubles in the music world at the time, Grimes left New York. He took his bass and drove to San Francisco with drummer Clarence Becton to work with Jon Hendricks, Al Jarreau, and others. When these gigs were over, and not finding enough work in San Francisco to survive, Henry took his bass (by then in serious disrepair) to Los Angeles. He took it to a repair man who gave him a high price for the necessary work, and since Henry was unable to pay, the repairman gave him a small sum for the bass instead, Henry apparently believing he'd be able to get it back after a while. Sadly, this turned out not to be the case. Many years passed with nothing heard from the great Grimes, as he lived in a single-room occupancy hotel in downtown Los Angeles and sustained himself with survival work not related to music.
It wasn’t until early 2003 when Henry Grimes emerged from his tiny room to begin playing concerts with trumpeter Bobby Bradford, Nels and Alex Cline, Joseph Jarman, and others in the Los Angeles area. On his triumphant return to New York City in May 2003, Grimes played as special guest on two nights of the 6-night Vision Festival, gave live concerts and lengthy interviews on the air daily during a five-day W-KCR Henry Grimes Radio Festival, and offered a bass clinic before 5O New York area bassists who haven't stopped talking about him since. He followed this with three virtually sold-out nights at Iridium in New York City leading his own band.
Henry Grimes officially moved back to New York in July 2003. He has regularly been playing many venues around the city as well as touring the US, Canada, and Europe. To the astonishment and joy of all, he is playing at the very height of his artistic powers (or indeed anyone's), just as though he had never stopped at all! Still in his 60s, healthy and strong, Grimes has a gentle, humble bearing and courageous life story and has inspired all those privileged to know him, hear him, and play music with him.
Next 1s and 2s":
(7/2) KATIE BULL/JOE FONDA (Cup of Joe, No Bull: The Bull-Fonda Duo CD Release concert!)
This unique series - dedicated to unaccompanied and duo jazz performances - has already featured the following highly acclaimed performances: Ray Anderson/Bob Stewart's Heavy Metal duo; Scott Robinson/Jules Thayer; Warren Smith/Kevin Norton; Karl Berger/John Lindberg; Michael Marcus/Edgar Bateman; Ken Peplowski/Greg Cohen, John Tchicai/Garrison Fewell, Joe Giardullo/John Heward...
*You can visit us on the web at www.allaboutjazz.com/newyork/index.html for updates.
*Curated by AAJ-NY Managing Editor, Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York Presents 1s&2s: Music for Solo & Duo" showcases some of the most distinct jazz voices on their respective instruments in a very intimate setting. Says Donohue-Greene, Only a select group of instrumentalists and vocalists can carry off such a challenge of performing a set of unaccompanied music and duo performance. With the number of performance spaces dwindling for these musicians to showcase their unique talents stripped down without the backing of a group in front of an audience - this series will hopefully become a tradition unto itself for us to witness some of the most amazing improvisers amongst us."
(For more information contact Laurence Donohue-Greene directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-568-9628)