Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970) Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s First official releases of previously unissued Grant Green material in over 10 years! Represents the earliest (1969-1970) and latest (1975) known live recordings of Grant Green as a leader captured at the ORTF studios in Paris, the Antibes Jazz Festival in Juan-les-Pins, and Oil Can Harry’s in Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Both packages include exhaustive booklets with essays by Michael Cuscuna and A. Scott Galloway, plus interviews with organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith, Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, Grant Green’s eldest son and guitarist Greg Green (aka Grant Green Jr.) and much more!
Deluxe 2CD, Single CD & Digital Editions available May 18, 2018 Deluxe limited-edition, 180-gram 3LP & 2LP gatefold sets released exclusively for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018
Los Angeles, CA February 2018 – Resonance Records is proud to announce the first official previously unissued recordings of Grant Green in over 10 years, capturing the jazz-funk guitar icon during what’s believed to have been his only performances in France and Vancouver.Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970) is being released in partnership with the Institut national de l’audiovisuel (Ina) with remastered high-resolution audio transferred directly from the original tapes of the Office of French Radio and Television (ORTF). This is also Resonance’s third album released in partnership with INA in a series of ORTF recordings, following 2016’s critically acclaimed Larry Young In Paris: The ORTF Recordings and 2017’s Wes Montgomery In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording.
In tandem with Funk in France, Resonance will also release a never-before-issued recording called Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s captured live on September 5, 1975 at a popular club in Vancouver, BC Canada called Oil Can Harry’s. Taped 3 years after the classic Live at the Lighthouse album released on Blue Note in 1972, this marks the latest known official live Grant Green recording on CD and LP.
Both albums will be available exclusively for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018, followed by CD and digital releases on May 25, 2018. Funk in France is being released as a limited-edition, hand-numbered (of 3,000) 180-gram 3LP gatefold set, mastered at the legendary Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios and pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by Record Technology Inc. (RTI). This collection of recordings from the ORTF studios in Paris on October 26, 1969 features the legendary guitarist with bassist Larry Ridley and drummerDon Lamond, with jazz guitar icon Barney Kessel accompanying Green on “I Wish You Love”; plus full concert recordings from the Antibes Jazz Festival on June 18 and 20, 1970 with saxophonist Claude Bartee and organist Clarence Palmer, who both played on Green’s classic 1969 Blue Note album Carryin’ On, and drummer Billy Wilson. The ORTF studio session was taped for a radio broadcast produced by legendary French producer André Francis. The Antibes recording was taped less than a month before Green’s first live release Alive! on Blue Note Records.
The companion album Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s is also being released on Record Store Day as a limited-edition, hand-numbered (of 3,000) 180-gram 2LP gatefold set, mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios and pressed at 33 1/3 RPM by Record Technology Inc. (RTI). Featuring a primarily Detroit-based band with Emmanuel Riggins (father of drummer Karriem Riggins) on electric piano, Ronnie Ware on bass, drummer Greg “Vibrations” Williams (Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson) and Gerald Izzard on percussion, this recording was originally broadcast on CHQM-FM in Vancouver by the DJ Gary Barclay and has been transferred from his original 10″ reels to reveal a sterling sonic experience.
Producer Zev Feldman says about these projects, “I wanted to create a really special event celebrating Grant Green and thought that putting out 2 separate albums at once would make a stronger statement than just one. And in fact, Funk in France is actually 2-albums-in-1, with the Paris and Antibes recordings being combined together in one 3LP and 2CD set. Fans will note that the Paris material recorded at the ORTF studio has been previously leaked to YouTube, so we could have just released Antibes on its own, but we thought both recordings deserved the official Resonance treatment. We’re also proud to have the family’s involvement on these recordings, including the eldest son Greg, who is also an incredible jazz guitarist like his father. These albums showcase what I call Green’s “evolution of the funk,” and I think these albums will excite longtime Grant Green fans and hopefully bring new fans along for the ride too.”
Both packages are beautifully designed by longtime Resonance designer Burton Yount and include exhaustive booklets replete with rare and never-before-published photos from the venues, historical essays, interviews with musicians heard on the recordings and peers, plus memorabilia and more.
Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970)
The booklet for Funk in France includes essays by the renowned Blue Note Records discographer, writer and executive producer of this album Michael Cuscuna, along with Zev Feldman of Resonance and Pascal Rozat of Ina; interviews with Soulive guitarist and producer Eric Krasno, the legendary organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, Grant Green’s eldest son Greg Green (aka Grant Green Jr.) and the organist from the Antibes concerts, Clarence Palmer; plus memorabilia and previously unpublished photos by French photographers Christian Rose and Jean-Pierre Leloir taken at the ORTF studio 104 and Antibes Jazz Festival, as well as jazz photography icon Chuck Stewart.
Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s
For Slick!, Resonance has assembled an exhaustive booklet including essays by noted music journalist A. Scott Galloway, Vancouver DJ and Gary Barclay and Resonance producer Zev Feldman; interviews with Detroit jazz guitar legendPerry Hughes (in conversation with guitarist Jacques Lesure, a fellow Detroit native), Grant Green’s eldest son Greg Green (aka Grant Green Jr.), drummer Greg “Vibrations” Williams, as well as excerpts from archival interviews conducted by Gary Barclay with Grant Green and Emmanuel Riggins in September of 1975. The package also features a number of previously unpublished photos taken during the Oil Can Harry’s engagement by Vancouver-based photographer Gerry Nairn.
Born in St. Louis Missouri in 1935, Grant Green started performing at an early age and by his teenage years was doing professional gigs. In his mid-twenties, he was swept away by alto saxophonist, Lou Donaldson, who discovered him playing in a St. Louis bar and urged him to come to New York in 1960 where he would meet Alfred Lion of Blue Note Records. In the early 60’s, his albums released on Blue Note launched his career into the jazz public’s eye and he was the most-recorded artist on the label between 1960 and 1965 recording a staggering 22 studio sessions as a leader, only 14 of which were released near the time they were recorded.
Grant Green was, like many jazz guitarists, influenced by jazz guitar pioneer Charlie Christian. He was also inspired by horn players such as John Coltrane and Charlie “Bird” Parker, and was friendly with his contemporaries – Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and George Benson. Grant’s son Greg recounted a story in the booklet for Funk in France about Wes and George seeing his father play:
George Benson told me this story once, and I’ll never forget it, he said “Man, one day your dad was playing at my club, and I loved your dad so much I wanted to go again.” He said, “I decided to come to the club, but I didn’t want him to know I was there, so when I came in I went all the way to the back of the club.” When he turned around he bumped into this guy, and it was Wes Montgomery. Wes said, “George, what are you doing here?” (Laughs)
After 1966, Green relocated to Detroit to tackle his heroin addiction. When he came back on the scene in 1969 he was in better health and had formed a new band that was decidedly as funk-oriented as it was jazz.
In 1969, Green reemerged on the classic Blue Note recording Carryin’ On. Both performances showcase Green’s early transition to a heavier, funkier sound as he entered the 1970s. This is the first time any of these songs from Carryin’ On and Iron City albums are available as live performances and represent his earliest live recordings as a leader. The album opens with James Brown’s driving funk anthem, “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open the Door, I’ll Get It Myself).“ Michael Cuscuna calls attention to Green’s “signature, spitfire, single-note improvisations” on the Sonny Rollins classic,“Oleo.” He plays Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Brazilian samba “How Insensitive (Insensatez)” with his own personal rhythmic edge, followed by the tasty “Untitled Blues” improvisation. Returning to the pen of Sonny Rollins with “Sonnymoon for Two,” Green plays this intricate blues with only bass and drums accompaniment.
The Antibes Jazz Festival concerts provide us with two extended versions of “Upshot” from July 18 and 20, 1970, where you can hear the whole band stretch out well beyond what you hear on the studio version. With “Hi-Heel Sneakers,” Michael Cuscuna writes, “Grant’s solo is explosive from note one and has a joyous sense of abandon, rarely heard in the guitarist’s studio recordings.” Organist Clarence Palmer says about the Antibes recording, “What that record signified is the beginning of jazz musicians not only Grant, but a lot of them Stanley Turrentine, Miles Davis venturing into playing rock and roll.” Grant Green’s music drew the attention from DJs, hip-hop producers and musicians who tapped into Grant’s funky guitar breaks, turning these riffs and putting them into hip-hop music. Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno describes, “Then people started recognizing and digging into where those samples came from. So they were like, okay, we heard the sample in this Public Enemy song, where did that come from?” Green’s forward-thinking grooves have been sampled by hip hop icons, including A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and Outkast, all the way to Kendrick Lamar.
Recorded less than four years before his untimely death at the young age of 43, Slick! Live at Oil Can Harry’s has Green still playing familiar songs in non-traditional ways, pushing the limits of traditional jazz and stretching the form. A. Scott Galloway writes in the liner notes, “Following his blazing `60s years on Blue Note…his restless sensibilities would lead him to experiment in wild yet intriguing ways. He had never been known to sit in any one style, genre or pocket for any length of stretch.” Green continued to fuse a rock beat with jazz creating a heavier and heavier funk sound. This Vancouver recording begins with a fairy straight interpretation of the classic composition from one of Green’s biggest inspirations, Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.” We then get another version of Brazilian bossa nova master Antonio Carlos Jobim’s sublime “How Insensitive (Insensatez)” clocking in at a whopping 26 minutes with various funky layers undulating underneath the groove. The centerpiece of Slick! is unquestionably the 30-plus minute funk exploration medley of Stanley Clarke’s “Vulcan Princess,” “Skin Tight” by the Ohio Players, Bobby Womack’s soul classic “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” “Boogie on Reggae Woman” by Stevie Wonder and “For the Love of Money” by the O’Jays. Even serious devotees will agree this is decidedly uncharted territory in the discography of Grant Green. Bassist Ronnie Ware shines brightly throughout and keyboardist Emmanuel Riggins mirrors Green’s guitar riffs so closely on the keyboard that sometimes it feels as if there are two guitars playing at once. Vancouver DJ and the original producer of this recording, Gary Barclay, notes in his interview with Emmanuel Riggins from 1975, “You get a sound that, if I wasn’t listening attentively, I sometimes thought you were Grant Green! (Laughs) You’ve got the sound so close to that guitar. That they were almost interchangeable.”
Tribute Band & Tour Dates
For the first time, Resonance has assembled a band that will play the music from our archival releases live on the road. The project is called “Grant Green’s Evolution of Funk” and it features an all-star band with guitarist Grant Green Jr. (Green’s eldest son), saxophonist Donald Harrison, organist/pianist Larry Goldings and drummer Mike Clark. Tour dates are yet to be announced, but there is interest from many different parts of the world in presenting this exciting project.
Resonance producer Zev Feldman explains, “We have a very unique situation with this project, where we have a living heir to a jazz icon who’s also an accomplished artist themselves! It was a no-brainer that we should try to put something together. This would be the kind of show where if you closed your eyes, you would think you’re literally back in the 70s listening to Grant Green with his band in full-throttle funk mode.”
Despite Green’s popularity in the 1960s and subsequent revivals in jam band and hip-hop circles, he remains a largely under recognized figure in the history of jazz. “He deserved even a lot more. Way underrated. Everybody knows, every guitar player knows he was the top guy,” bemoaned Dr. Lonnie Smith in the interview for Funk in France. Let’s hope these Resonance releases, plus the tribute band tour, can go a long way to shining a brighter light on one of jazz guitar’s most important figures.
TRACK LISTING (Funk in France):
1. I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door
I’ll Get It Myself) (4:34)
2. Oleo (4:24)
3. How Insensitive (Insensatez) (7:18)
4. Untitled Blues (8:09)
5. Sonnymoon for Two (7:00)
6. I Wish You Love* (7:06)
7. Upshot (18:02) – Live at the Antibes Jazz Festival
on July 18, 1970
1. Hurt So Bad (14:38) – Live at the Antibes Jazz
Festival on July 18, 1970
2. Upshot (19:46) – Live at the Antibes Jazz Festival
on July 20, 1970
3. Hi-Heel Sneakers (27:13) – Live at the Antibes Jazz
Festival on July 20, 1970
TRACK LISTING (Slick!):
1. Now’s the Time (9:03)
2. How Insensitive (Insensatez) (26:04)
3. Medley: Vulcan Princess / Skin Tight / Woman’s Gotta
Have It / Boogie On Reggae Woman / For the Love of Money (31:57)
No events scheduled at the time