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Lou Grassi

Lou Grassi

Playing free improvisational jazz, that is, music with no composition or structure, and relying totally on the communicative skills of bandmates is a rough way to make a living. Ask drummer Lou Grassi, who, at age 51, is finally seeing the light of day after laboring in the free jazz vineyards since the mid-’60s.

Of course, playing free jazz isn’t a lucrative proposition. Grassi, in his earlier years, made that discovery and drifted into college to get a bachelor’s in music in order to “learn how to play normally and just fit in.” He learned his lessons well and found himself playing and enjoying Dixieland, which allowed him room to stretch his improv skills.

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