Happy 80th, Henry Grimes

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Today is Henry Grimes's 80th birthday. While Henry is known as free jazz's most eminent bassist, he also appeared on a significant number of important mainstream jazz albums earlier in his career. Henry's sound has always been strongly supportive as a time-keeper and fiery in intensity, pushing musicians to take creative risks. As Sonny Rollins notes in his forward to Barbara Frenz's new biography of Henry, Music to Silence Music, “Henry's music, the music of the man, has been such an immense gift to me in my own career. It's something for which I will always be grateful."

Let's explore Henry's wide-ranging career with 10 choice clips:

Here's Henry with Lee Konitz, guitarist Billy Bauer and drummer Dave Bailey in 1957 on Lennie-Bird. Dig what Henry is doing back there...

 

Here's Henry on Crazy Day, from The Gerry Mulligan Songbook with Lee Konitz (as), Allen Eager and Zoot Sims (as,ts), Al Cohn (bar,ts), Gerry Mulligan (bar), Freddie Green (g) and Dave Bailey (d), with Bill Holman's arrangements (1957)...

 

Here's Henry with singer-pianist Mose Allison and drummer Paul Motian on I Love the Life I Live (1960)...

 

Here's Henry with organist Shirley Scott and drummer Otis Finch on Horace Silver's Sister Sadie in 1961...

 

Here's Henry with Jerome Richardson on Moon River from Going to the Movies (1962)...

 

Here's Henry with Sonny Rollins, cornetist Don Cherry and drummer Billy Higgins on If I Could Write a Book (1963)...

 

Here's Henry with Don Cherry, saxophoist Gato Barbieri and drummer Ed Blackwell on side 1 of Complete Communion (1965)...

 

Here's Henry with pianist Cecil Taylor and Bill Dixon (tp), Jimmy Lyons (as), Alan Silva (b) Andrew Cyrille (d) on Conquistador! (1966)...

 

Here's Henry Grimes in 2012 with bassist Christian McBride, flugelhornist Roy Campbell and alto saxophonist John Zorn....

 

And here's Henry with Sonny Rollins and drummer Joe Harris playing It Don't Mean a Thing in Sweden in 1959...

 

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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