Steve Grover


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For his second album for Invisible Music, Maine-based, award-winning drummerSteve Grover has once more teamed with longtime colleague clarinet player Brad Terry to collaborate on an appealing set of Grover compositions. Terry, an outstanding contemporary clarinet virtuoso, is relatively unknown in the United States. He frequently performs in Europe, especially in Poland, where he is one half of the Jazz Duo, the other half occupied by Polish pianist Joachim Mencel. Their recordings also feature Terry's other instrument, whistling. His most famous recording session is the critically acclaimed two-CD Living Room Tapes made with another Maine native, influential guitarist Lenny Breau.

In these compositions, Grover has chosen to explore color and harmonies with expansive melodies, abstaining from clunks, bangs, pops, or electronic gimmicks that sometimes afflict modern day jazz recordings. The music and its playing are both introspective and agreeable. Grover has written a book in musical form with each track a chapter and the performers as its characters. Terry's clarinet plays the voice of reason, never losing his cool. Frank Carlberg's piano while restrained is a bit more effusive. Grover assumes the toll of the understanding but firm leader. His drums set the tone and direction for the musical with well-placed and timed accents on snare, trap, or cymbal. Grover never takes advantage as the leader of the group and the composer of the songs to engage in long winded, senseless drum solos. Giving the lion's share of the spotlight to his confreres, Grover waits until the last track, "Dreaming With Thelonious," to do some extended drum work, neither loud nor intrusive, consistent with the overall civilized nature of the plot. Chris Ven Voorst Van Beest's bass pretty much stays with the task helping Grover maintain the beat. He does get the opportunity to show off his bass skills on "Remember" and "Blues on the Bridge." The latter is one of the most impressive tracks on the album. Remember retains one's interest from first track to last and is recommended.

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