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Inspired by a recent Jazztimes article in which a musician picks 10 of his or her favourite tracks by one of their favourite artists, I decided it was time to write about Grant Green!! Grant Green is one of my favourite guitar players. He's certainly had the biggest influence on my guitar playing. His playing can be super funky and he can swing like hell! He's everything I want to be as a musician.
Here are my 10 tracks in no particular order...
1. My Funny Valentine - Grantstand (1961) - Grant Green was a beautiful ballad player. I've always loved this tune and hearing him play it is a real treat.
2. Cool Blues - Born to Be Blue (1962) - You can really hear Charlie Parker's influence on Green here. Green's phrasing is killer.
3. Just A Closer Walk With Thee - Feelin' The Spirit (1962) - One of my favourite Green albums. This track grooves for miles. I love the way Green delivers a melody. He makes it his own without straying too far from the original idea.
4. Joshua - Feelin' The Spirit (1962) - This is the first tune that comes to mind when I think about Grant Green. This would be the first tune I would play for someone who's never heard Green.
5. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top - Blues For Lou (1963) - I have always loved this tune. Such a great melody. I just love how Green and organ player John Patton approach the head.
6. Idle Moments - Idle Moments (1963) - Such a beautiful ballad written by pianist Duke Pearson. I love the instrumentation on this album. Green's playing on this track is beautifully melodic.
7. Django - Idle Moments (1963) - Another great tune handled deftly by Green. The rhythm section of Bob Cranshaw (b), Duke Pearson (p) and Al Harewood (d) really swings on this track.
8. I Wish You Love - Street Of Dreams (1964) - Another of my favourite Green albums. How could you go wrong a Quartet featuring Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Larry Young on organ, Elvin Jones on drums and Green on guitar? This track is beautiful. Some of Green's finest playing, in my opinion.
9. Freedom March - Sunday Mornin' (1961) - Green's phrasing is certainly on fine display on this track.
10. Down Here On The Ground - Alive! (1970) - An anthem for funky jazz guitar players. Green kills it!