Grant Green Jr.
He’s toured the world in one band or another from an early age, and was based in NYC for many years. A popular band he was part of for over a decade is the Godfathers of Groove with Bernard Purdie. (also called Masters of Groove.) Grant’s ability to blend funky grooves with the melodic soul-jazz and blues has made him a festival favorite. His live performances are heartfelt, delighting fans at events like the New Orleans JazzFest, Savannah Music Festival, High Sierra Fest (CA), Bear Creek (FL), and the Detroit Jazz Festival. He was invited by Widespread Panic to be part of a “super-band” called the Playa Allstars at their Annual Panic en la Playa festival. (with George Porter, Jr., Ivan Neville, Randall Bramblett, Col. Bruce Hampton) Thank You Mr. Bacharach album out now on ZMI Records - see below for full bio.
New album 2022 - Thank You Mr. Bacharach on ZMI Records
Grant says his love for all types of music made him the multidimensional musician that he is today. The self-proclaimed Led Zeppelin and Johnny Cash fan recalls how one-time pop songs such as “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Misty,” and “Stella by Starlight” later became jazz standards.
“Basically that’s what I’m doing with the Burt Bacharach stuff, he says. “It’s great material that you want to put your own spin on.”
While Bacharach is an inspiration, he has many others. Grant Jr. spent part of his childhood in Detroit where Motown legends would jam at his house, and New York City, where he had a bird’s eye view of the jazz scene.
His Detroit neighbors included Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight along with members of the Four Tops and the Temptations. Miles Davis was known to join impromptu jam sessions in their home.
The musicianship of Grant’s father, however, has had the greatest sway over him. “He highly influenced me,” Grant says. “He’s why I play the guitar.”
The elder Grant, who inspired the likes of Carlos Santana and George Benson, was not interested in his son following in his footsteps. He preferred that young Grant become a doctor or a lawyer. But from adolescence the son had studied his father playing the guitar, and at age 17 Grant gained his musical respect.
“I used to go to all of his shows as a kid and I would go home and mimic them,” Grant says. “That’s how I actually learned. When he finally took me serious as a musician, it was because I got to the point where I used his material and I could rehearse with the band.”
Grant eventually settled in New York City where he fine-tuned his craft in the many blues and jazz clubs throughout Manhattan. His ability to blend funky grooves with the melodic soul-jazz and blues made him a popular session player and musician's musician. He has called Atlanta home since 2007.
“A one of a kind concert artist… each note had a life of its own.” The Chicago Tribune