Even the most skeptical among us would have to admit that bassist Henry Grimes’ reemergence on the scene after a decades-long absence is a great human-interest story. Sure, it’s heartening-even heartwarming-but let’s put it in perspective. In his mid-1960s prime, Grimes was no LaFaro or Mingus. He was, rather, a first-call sideman, a versatile team player adept at playing both inside and outside-then, as now, a valuable but not unique commodity. Thirty-odd years later, he’s pretty much the same-which, I hasten to add, is plenty remarkable, given the Van Winkle-esque layoff.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.