- Heart of Darkness
- Band Intro
- Or Come Fog
- Five Bars
- Spot That Man
- Don Alias Intro
- What Is This Thing Called Love?
- Water Babies
- The Cost Of Living
- One Bird, One Stone
- I Want To Be Happy (incomplete)
The Complete London Concert
Don Grolnick Group
Don Grolnick: pianist, composer, arranger & leader; Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone; Randy Brecker: trumpet and flugelhorn; Marty Ehrlich: alto saxophone and bass clarinet; Robin Eubanks: trombone; Peter Washington: bass; Peter Erskine: drums; Don Alias: congas
A new DON GROLNICK release from FUZZY MEMORIES MUSIC ARCHIVES
Don Grolnick: September 23, 1947 – June 1, 1996
The world lost a true musical poet on the day that cancer claimed the life of Don Grolnick. And so many of us lost a true friend. Don was as warm and gentle a man as you might hope to meet. Funny, well-read and wise, he was my primary musical conscience for all of the years I knew him. He was a brilliant composer and pianist, and, I think, the perfect musician. All of the musicians represented on this recording are grateful to the BBC for having documented the London performance on what turned out to be Don’s final jazz tour. Our thanks, also, to Nick Purnell and Tony Dudley-Evans of the Arts Council of England and Darryl Pitt and Marina Belica of Depth of Field Management for making the 1995 trip possible in the first place. In addition, our thanks to the Grolnick Estate, lovingly guided by Don’s bride and widow Jeanne O’Connor, for overseeing this release. My personal thanks to all of the players. Please enjoy this first set, presented exactly as heard on the evening of January 16th, 1995 in London. It was a memorable night of music, music penned by a most unforgettable man and friend, Don Grolnick.
— Fuzzy Music, 2000 (from original liner notes to Vol. 1)
The initial release of The London Concert generated a tremendous amount of delighted listening, positive reaction…and the recurring question, “When are you going to release the 2nd set?” Truth be told, the tape of the 2nd set had gone missing, somehow, after the mastering process of the “London Concert” CD was completed. Many an afternoon was spent fruitlessly looking for the errant DAT tape. Now, almost 20 years after that tape had been handed to me by a BBC radio producer (simply because I asked for it!), a digital backup copy has been found, and the 2nd set can now be released. That’s the good news! The only bad news is that the backup copy does not contain the final/encore tune “I Want To Be Happy” in its entirety…my sincere apologies to Marty Ehrlich and to all listeners for the ignominious fadeout during at the start of Marty’s solo. That’s all there is, folks. (If, by any chance, the full performance of that tune is ever located, I will have it mastered and will post it online and update this digital release edition.)
More sadly, we lost two additional members of the Don Grolnick Group since the recording and release of The London Concert, Michael Brecker and Don Alias. As I wrote in my book No Beethoven, “Don expressed his assurance that Heaven did indeed exist as long as his presence was in the memory of those who knew him and/or his work. Of course it does not surprise me that such a gentle and good man would be in Heaven, but it is comforting to know it for certain.
It is the charge of us who survive to see another dawn each day that we honor the memory of the kind and brave souls who have pioneered and lived and loved before us. They have taught us how to interpret a melody, or how to play a rhythm, or how to laugh at one of life’s many absurdities. Life lessons. Good deeds. Mistakes. The sum of a man’s or a woman’s life can take years to absorb and understand, but we must always appreciate the sacrifice, wisdom, love and humor that our fallen comrades have left to us.”
This music is a dedication to the tireless quest for perfection that is so often an integral part of our jazz heroes.
— Peter Erskine, 2014
From Reviews for Vol. 1 (first set)
…as true a definition of the jazz aesthetic as one is apt to find. Brecker’s solos stand out as amongst the most
impassioned of his career. Filled with life and sparkling with imagination, The London Concert is a fitting epitaph to
– John Kelman / All About Jazz
…simultaneously recalls both traditional jazz and the music of the late Charles Mingus…the band as a whole is as
close to perfection as is possible in a live setting.
– Chris Parker / classical-music.com
…full of adventure and include(s) some of the most exciting recorded solos of tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker
and trumpeter Randy Brecker. Essential music.
– Scott Yanow / All Music Guide