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Joe Gransden | Live At Churchill Grounds

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Jazz: Jazz quartet Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Live At Churchill Grounds

by Joe Gransden

On two evenings in June 2009 the Joe Gransden Quartet mezmerized crowds at Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe in Midtown Atlanta, GA.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz quartet
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I'll Remember April
8:28 album only
2. If It Isn't One Thing
7:34 album only
3. Hot Shoe
10:08 album only
4. Blame It On My Youth
7:49 album only
5. The First Time
5:27 album only
6. Topsider
8:08 album only
7. The Very Thought Of You
9:04 album only
8. I Never Knew
5:30 album only
9. Between Logic And Passion
6:20 album only
10. My Baby Won't Takadimi
3:38 album only


Album Notes
Live at Churchill Grounds is an enduring document of Gransden’s connection with Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA. , and the music within serves as a testament to the tireless work ethic and creative energy that fuels his musicianship. The live date unites members from Joe’s past and present bands — a group of scene-defining artists from the late 1990s and Joe's current quartet, which has become an artistic force in the Southeast — both of which have performed numerous times at Churchill Grounds. By fusing two distinct eras in Atlanta jazz, the disc solidifies a complete picture of Gransden as a professional trumpeter, singer and performer — where he's been, how he's grown as a musician and, just maybe, where he’s going. The sidemen on this date (pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Craig Shaw and drummer Chris Burroughs) represent touchstones in Gransden's career; the guys have all been with Joe at one time or another during his 15-year span as the busiest trumpeter in Atlanta. All of them live and perform in the city, except for the Seattle ex-pat pianist, and all are among the top jazz players in the country.
Armed with original tunes composed by Gransden, a few numbers Anschell brought from out West and a smart set of standards, this reconstituted band mesmerized crowds at Churchill Grounds in Midtown Atlanta for two nights in the middle of June. Joe's written contributions include “Hot Shoe,” a mid-tempo blues with a free-blowing section. Written specifically for this date, the tune exemplifies the trumpeter's ability to infuse historical forms with modern elements, a structure utilized during his nights leading Churchill Grounds jam sessions. Whether Joe was singing an arrangement of “I’ll Remember April” or navigating a trumpet solo on “Topsider,” the audience loved the June performances, but few of them knew the full history behind the concerts.
In the mid-'90s, Joe assembled his first quartet as a leader. A native of upstate New York, the trumpeter had moved to Atlanta to finish his jazz performance degree after a 1-year stint on the road with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Equipped with a lush baritone voice and a trumpet sound reminiscent of hard bop musicians like Blue Mitchell and Freddie Hubbard, the 20-year-old set out to put together his first small ensemble. Joe needed a few guys who could really swing to keep up with his labyrinthine trumpet lines. Anschell, who had been acting as arranger and music director for the vocalist Nnenna Freelon and who was one of the most notable pianists in town, proved to be the perfect foil for Gransden’s sound. The band also included the drummer Kinah Boto and bassist Neal Starkey, both of whom have since become first-call artists. The group eventually was given a weekly showcase at Churchill Grounds — a standing date until Joe moved to New York City in 1999. In those days, the musicians routinely ended each show with “My Baby Won’t Takadimi,” one of Anschell’s tunes that fittingly closes this album.
The latest chapter in Gransden’s career came together in April 2008 at Twain’s Billiards and Tap in Decatur, Ga. He recruited pianist Tyrone Jackson, Craig Shaw and Chris Burroughs to form the nucleus of a weekly jam session; everyone from local students to Atlanta jazz royalty to national acts swung by to sit in with the musicians. Combining Shaw and Burroughs — two artists helping to define jazz in the Southeast — with Anschell, a pianist who epitomized Atlanta jazz in the late '90s, makes Live at Churchill Grounds a truly historic recording.



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