Lost Treasures: Grant Green – “California Green”

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Our Lost Treasure this week comes from jazz guitarist Grant Green, whose recordings were mostly released after his death in 1979.  From the 1972 Blue Note album “Shades Of Green” we bring you “California Green”  a rollicking jazz-funk excursion showcasing Grant’s fine guitar work.  Among the personnel on this album, Crusaders bassist Wilton Felder is sitting in on this session.  He began his career in his hometown of St Louis playing with Jimmy Forrest & drummer Elvin Jones in the late 1950’s. Grant Green was discovered & recruited as a band member by alto sax player Lou Donaldson who steered him towards Blue Note Records in 1960, where he recorded under his own name & as a session side player on recordings by Ike Quebec, Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Larry Young, Sonny Clark & McCoy Tyner.  In later years, a few of his tracks were sampled & remixed during the ‘acid-jazz’ revival era in the 1990’s by Public Enemy, US3 & A Tribe Called Quest.  Green’s erratic recording & performance career were often sidelined by personal problems & heroin addiction.  He spent most of 1978 in hospital & against doctor’s advice hit the road again to earn money for medical bills.  He died a year later of a heart attack while on tour in NYC & was buried in St Louis.  His reputation since his passing has increased exponentially & much of his unreleased music was finally heard.  Take in this jazz groove as we experience a rainy weekend here in the Northwest.

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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