Henry Grimes + Aurochs
Part of the Jazz Avant series
Doors 7pm | Concert 8pm
Tickets $25 regular | $15 member
$20 Advance at Soundscapes or BUY NOW
A living legend of jazz bass
Do not miss this opportunity to witness one of the living legends of jazz: Henry Grimes. The openers, Aurochs, are exciting young talents from Toronto who pick up on some of the many streams which have flowed from Mr. Grimes’ artistry.
Grimes’ history is incredible. Educated at Juilliard, he began his career in the 1950s. Even then, his employers covered a wide spectrum of jazz: Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Anita O’Day, Gerry Mulligan and many others. Later in that era he became the second bassist in Charles Mingus’ bands during their most celebrated years.
During the sixties he was a crucial voice in the emerging free jazz movement, playing with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and many others. He recorded his first album as a leader, The Call, in 1965
Then it all changed.
He moved to California at the end of the sixties and vanished. For three decades, he was presumed dead – this was one of the great apocryphal stories of jazz. A social worker found him living in the worst part of downtown Los Angeles in a tiny room without a bass to play. William Parker (who played our X Avant festival this past October) gave him a bass to play and since then, Grimes has toured the world to rapturous receptions. He’s still going strong at 78.
Grimes will be featured in a solo performance. His music encompasses so much history and life experience that it will feel more like a religious communion than a concert.
Aurochs opens the show. Composed of Ali Berkok – piano/accordion, Pete Johnston – bass and Jake Oelrichs – drums/percussion, Aurochs was formed in the autumn of 2012. This trio emerged out of a shared desire to create extended improvised musical structures in which the three instruments would function as equal partners in the ensemble texture. Drawing on a range of influences including jazz, dub reggae, American minimalism, electronic music, and punk rock, Aurochs seeks to expand the traditional palette associated with this instrumentation. To this end, Aurochs focuses on developing sustained, gradually unfolding ensemble improvisations.
photo of Henry Grimes by Hollis King