BLACK ART

DARRELL GRANT QUARTET
1994 (CRISS CROSS JAZZ)

Album Tracks

  1. Freedom Dance

  2. Tilmon Tones
  3. Blue In Green
  4. Black Art
  5. Foresight
  6. Einbahnstrasse
  7. What Is This Thing Called Love
  8. For Heaven's Sake
  9. Binkley's Blues

In the liner notes to Darrell Grant’s critically-acclaimed debut release on Criss Cross records, legendary jazz critic and author Nat Hentoff said, “Duke Ellington used to say that in listening to music, he paid no attention to categories of musicians. ‘Always,’ he said, ‘it's the individual who sounds the way for changes in the language while deeply respecting its traditions.’ Darrell Grant is his own category, and this disc illuminates his singularity with particular force and space. That truth stays in the mind long after the music stops.”

- Nat Hentoff-1994

Darrell assembled a hard-driving unit whose roots lie in the freewheeling spirit of Miles Davis’ early 60’s band. Featuring fellow young lions Wallace Roney, Christian McBride and Brian Blade, Black Art received critical accolades and regular radio play from the jazz industry worldwide.  Featuring five original compositions as well as artfully arranged standards such as “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “For Heaven’s Sake,” and a tender solo version of the indelible “Blue and Green,” Black Art was selected one of the top ten Jazz recordings of 1994 by The New York Times. The London monthly Vox also named Black Art one of its top 5 jazz releases of the year, saying Darrell Grant “looks set to become a major new player. “  

Writing in JazzTimes magazine, Willard Jenkins concluded that “Darrell Grant is a bright, facile pianist who is a graduate of Betty Carter’s rigorous jazz piano finishing school. Black Art is the young dreadlocked Coloradoan’s first foray as a leader and he has surrounded himself with good, well-rehearsed company.”  

Canadian journal The Jazz Report, in a glowing review said that “One of the factors that makes Black Art such an appealing session is the incredible energy sustained throughout the recording. Grant writes and performs with clarity and purpose. Each composition is thoughtfully structured allowing the soloist freedom to examine and explore the tonal character at length… Every solo and ensemble passage is superbly performed.”

In his review of Black Art, New York Times Jazz Critic Peter Watrous said “Mr. Grant, a pianist, has assembled an album featuring Christian McBride on bass, and Brian Blade on drums, that is conceived from the rhythm section’s point of view, with all sorts of challenging tempos and textures. The trumpeter Wallace Roney turns in what may be his most exciting playing on record.”  

Black Art
By DARRELL GRANT
He has figured out how to bring together all the various ploys that a modern rhythm section can use, and meld them so that a performance is rarely stationary. It is a type of rhythm-section virtuosity that is becoming more and more common, and Mr. Grant and his band have mastered it.
— The New York Times