Fresh Sound New Talent
On Sweet Transients Grenadier plays with tenorman Seamus Blake, pianist Ethan Iverson, his bassist brother Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart. The group plays the standard "Alone Together" plus compositions by Nieske, Jobim, Kenny Wheeler, Horace Silver and Wayne Shorter. Phil Grenadier also contributed the title-track original, which features trading and contrapuntal improvisation by him and Blake.
Grenadier, who's been influenced by Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, Clifford Brown and Woody Shaw, is a technically superb trumpeter. He's so secure, with a great range, precise articulation and rock-solid time and pitch. His tone is full and pretty, and he's bursting with fresh melodic phrases. While he can play very well on traditional changes or in a free setting, I prefer to hear him in the latter context, as it brings out his most imaginative playing. Similarly, Blake's an accomplished all-around improviser who's at his best in more challenging situations. And Iverson's delicate, lyrical playing deserves all kinds of praise.
"Cali Mist," though featuring open improvising, has a good deal of variety and hangs together very well. I could stand to hear a whole album's worth of such material by these gifted artists.