Henry Grimes Trio with Fred Anderson | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Henry Grimes Trio with Fred Anderson 

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Henry Grimes's recent return to music after an absence of more than three decades made for a marvelous story, but the really great news is that the bassist's talents remain intact. In the 50s and 60s Grimes's gift for apposite abstraction made him the first-call bassist in New York's free-jazz community, while his impeccable accuracy and vibrant tone made him a valued contributor in more straight-ahead contexts: he could fit in with leaders as unalike as Benny Goodman and Albert Ayler. Even so, after a series of misfortunes he ended up adrift in LA, sold his bass to make ends meet, and worked janitorial jobs until a social worker and jazz fan named Marshall Marrotte tracked him down in 2002. Grimes certainly doesn't sound rusty on Marc Ribot's 2005 Ayler-themed album, Spiritual Unity (Pi), nor does he sound like a sideman: his dense plucked clusters and seething bowed figures provide the center of gravity for an epic, highly emotional performance of "Truth Is Marching In." Trumpeter Roy Campbell and drummer Chad Taylor, the rest of the Spiritual Unity group, fill out the trio that Grimes brings to the Velvet Lounge. They'll be joined by tenor saxist Fred Anderson, who established an instant rapport with Grimes when they first played together, at HotHouse in March 2005. See also Saturday. a 9 PM, Velvet Lounge, 67 E. Cermak, 312-791-9050, $15.

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