Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grant Geissman: Cool Man Cool

Futurism Records
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 8.6.09
Buy CD: Cool Man Cool

Guitarist Grant Geissman has been affiliated with many jazz genres; he is described as “a straight-ahead, crossover, New Age and contemporary artist.” He's also an Emmy Award-nominated composer and arranger for TV series and movies.

He's a true West Coast musician, born in 1953 in Berkeley. He grew up in San Jose, attended high school and college in that area, worked with numerous local bands and finally relocated to Los Angeles in 1973. While attending Cal State Northridge, he played with Gerald Wilson and Louie Bellson.

Geissman met Chuck Mangione and became a member of his band; their 1977 release of Feels So Good remains one of the top-selling instrumental albums to this day.

Geissman has been a featured sideman on numerous albums since then, and has released more than a dozen as a leader.

This CD utilizes a stellar group of artists: Corea, Mangione, Tom Scott, Russell Ferrante and many others. The 14 tracks provide a veritable smorgasbord of styles, and utilize an equivalent array of instruments: acoustic and electric keyboards, guitars and bases; Hammond B3 organ; saxes; flute; flugelhorn; violin; accordion; drums and bongos.

The instrumentation combinations vary for each tune, as does the musical style. The common thread, however, is that everything swings nicely.

This is a fun album with something for every taste.

No comments: