2003 (Lair Hill Records)

Darrell Grant’s fifth CD as a leader is a deeply moving and personal statement. Recorded in Berkeley, California and Nashville, Tennessee, Spirit is a heartfelt ode to peace and a celebration of renewal. The album’s ten solo pieces showcase the masterful piano artistry that took Grant’s previous albums to the top of the jazz radio charts. The album also spotlights for the first time his talents as a songwriter, with three originals featuring Grammy-award winning Nashville vocalist Lari White. By turns reflective, soulful, poignant, and exultant, Spirit transforms university themes of innocence, hope, family, and community into a true revelation of an artist’s heart. Drawing on jazz, classical, gospel, and pop, the songs on Spirit seamlessly shift and blend musical styles, yet maintain a common thread of intimacy and emotional directness. An album that reaches for the essence, Spirit is both solace for hard times and a reminder of the depth of joy and optimism that music can evoke.  

To the ancestors who have gone before
upon the rock of their wisdom we build our lives
To our families and friends, whose love sustains us in these troubled times
To the children with whose futures we kindle this flame
And to the one, the all in all, the beginning and the end of all things
Amen and ashay
— Darrell Grant
Grant lays his soul bare on this entire disc and comes out better for it.
— Jazzscene