Grant Green Grantstand (1961) Blue Note

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Selected Track: My Funny Valentine (Rodgers & Hart)

Furthest away from the groove on this record,  a delicate and sensitive exploration of a  standard brought into the jazz repertoire by Chet Baker and Miles Davis among others.

Artists:

Yusef Lateef (ts, fl) Jack McDuff (org) Grant Green (g) Al Harewood (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 1, 1961

Including the Liberty years, Blue Note  released nineteen titles with Green as leader,  five titles alone including Grantstand recorded in 1961 , his first year  with the label. A few less than the twenty seven titles attributed  to Jimmy Smith, but a significant  body of work, uneven, and which drifted increasingly towards funk in the latter years, ending the Blue Note run in 1971 with the aptly titled The Final Comedown. Some of the titles are stellar others possibly less so, but this is an unusual line up of artists not usually found in the Blue Note stable. Lateef not yet on his journey East, appears on flute and tenor.

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Anyone expecting another Idle Moments it is not here, though the track selection My Funny Valentine comes close to that ethereal floating mood, which goes well with a single malt and the lights low. Bop-tinged soul-jazz makes up most of the session. McDuffs only outing for Blue Note finds him in a mellow mood, thankfully not DBHO – Death by Hammond organ: Jimmy Smith, will you now stand and face the jury (dons black cap). Despite four musicians rostered, there are large swathes of McDuff and Harewood just bopping along to the groove, with one track a 14 minute extended jam session with guest soloists.

Allmusic awarded the album 4 stars and described it thus: “if you’re looking for Green the soul-jazz groovemaster, Grantstand is an excellent place to find him”  .Another of those “people who like this sort of music will find this album is full of the sort of music they like” exercise in circular writing. It is not Green’s most powerful album, but when you are in need of mellow groove rather than just deep groove (on one side), this one’s got lots of it (on both sides)

A great cover, beautiful picture of Grant, and in near mint condition as I think the previous owner never played it that often. Perhaps he didn’t do mellow.

Vinyl: BN 4086 NY ear  RVG DG s1/nDG s2 mono

RVG machine stamp indicating mastering in 1961 before the ubiquitous VAN GELDER stamp was introduced in 1962. A second pressing I presume, circa 1966 if the inner sleeve “27 years” is the original sleeve, and the presence of Deep Groove on Side One is a contra-indication of first pressings after 1961. But it is an “original Bue Note”, good enough for me.

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Despite being near mint, the liner notes are as often found, pasted down well out of kilter. No writing on cover, just wonky.

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Collectors Corner

Source: Ebay  Sellers Description: Grant Green-grantstand  cat no-blp 4086 RVG stamped on dead wax west 61st st address.  The record is in very good+ condition. The sleeve is in very good+ condition

As is often the case, the seller has picked up on the cover address, which in this case is of no great significance as 47 West 63rd  ran all the way through 1959 to 1966, and overlooked the ear, the deep groove on side one, and the date of the inner sleeve, all three of which are more significant. They also under-graded it.

This wasn’t my first choice in records on auction that week, but other people waltzed off with the ones that were, one in particular, heading for Germany, again (bandits at 10 o’clock!) I picked up Grantstand for not a huge amount, with the benefit of not hurtling over the fiscal cliff .

As its been slim pickings of late, what with holidays and the interminable rain, requiring a change of tack: forthcoming posts will be drawing a little more on the LJC collection than usual. Which is good news for vinyl jazz fans, and more’s the point, good news for  my long-suffering postman.

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5 thoughts on “Grant Green Grantstand (1961) Blue Note

  1. Grantstand is a great session. “Blues In Maude’s Flat” just absolutely smokes in a cool way.

    I believe the last album Grant made for Blue Note was 1972’s “Live At The Lighthouse”. Yes, Grant did have fewer sessions issued than Jimmy Smith – but what people often forget is that he was the most recorded musician on Blue Note Records! and so much work was released posthumously …

    I can confirm Matty’s description of this first pressing – although for me, after a certain catalogue number I would settle for albums without the one sided-deep groove or if both sides have a dg, that’s fine too – (I have Stanley Turrentine’s “Never Let Me Go” BST 84129, dg both sides, ear + ‘van gelder’ + ‘stereo’ stamps, sounds amazing!)

    • A s LJC’s resident Grant Green authority I am sure you are right, Artie: Final Comedown 1971, Lighthouse 1972. Lighthouse (BN-LA 037) falls outside my Blue Note 4000 series listing, which is a limitation in my reference source I ought to put right in future.

  2. Very enjoyable gem indeed. Michael Cuscuna’s notes in the CD reissue that I have state that the recording date began with “Green’s Greenery”, a track that eventually didn’t appear on the LP.

    Thankfully “Green’s Greenery” is a bonus track on the evil silver disk, so I have a little over five more minutes of music to enjoy than you, which makes up for my jealousy, because your copy really looks the business. Sharp edges, sharp corners, in other words: spotless.

    Also, your copy is a dead cert 1st pressing. Fred Cohen’s book: New York USA address on both sides, deep groove side 1 / no deep groove side 2, “P” or “ear” in trail off on both sides and RVG stamped. The back cover address should read 43 West 61st St., New York 23. All these details apply to your copy.

    I’m sure that previous owners more than once have misplaced inner sleeves while playing their beloved Blue Notes. Because the inner sleeve of 4086 should read “the finest in jazz since 1939” and should depict Mobley’s Roll Call in row four, down five as the unique marker of that particular inner sleeve (source: Fred Cohen’s book). Your inner sleeve with the “27 years…” indeed is of a much later date, but given the fact that your copy has a deep groove side 1, I am sure that the inner sleeve is a classic case of putting the wrong record back in the wrong inner sleeve, catch my drift? 😉

      • Those hundreds then probably ridicule you out of pure jealousy. I’d rather brag on a bit about that one bonus track that you don’t have 😉

        Last thing I forgot to add, is that a 1st pressing must have a laminated front cover and looking closely at the edges and corners of your front- and back cover photos, that detail, too, is confirmed.

        I reckon it’s that typical ‘fat’ looking, slightly bubbly, high gloss laminate that not just looks fab, but also feels good.

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