Don Grolnick

The Complete Blue Note Recordings

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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.

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