Along with their status a trailblazing cool-jazz pianists, hipster icon Mose Allison and Peanuts soundtracker Vince Guaraldi have one other thing in common — drummer Jerry Granelli, who played with Guaraldi in the ’60s (yes, that’s him on all your favourite childhood cartoons) and Allison in the ’70s. On this instrumental offering, the Nova Scotia resident revisits some moments from his impressive career, tackling a slate of his former employers’ familiar numbers with his own trio. But it’s not just some nostalgic romp: Granelli’s trio update, stretch and revamp these familiar numbers, imbuing them with more muscle, elasticity and contemporary experimentation than you heard on the originals. But thankfully, with no turtleneck sweaters or wah-wah trumpets. Good grief.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Over the course of a career spanning six decades, drummer Jerry Granelli has worked with many of the greatest artists across the full spectrum of jazz and beyond. On The Jerry Granelli Trio Plays Vince Guaraldi and Mose Allison, his rapturous new album, Granelli revisits two of his most indelible collaborations from the vantage point of the exploratory now. The album starts from the foundation of two singular composers: the elegant, lyrical pieces of pianist Vince Guaraldi, with whom Granelli played for three busy years early in his career — including the landmark Peanuts TV specials; and the eccentric singer-pianist Mose Allison, whose wry twists on the blues Granelli had the pleasure of accompanying for nearly 40 years. Never one to dwell on the past, Granelli has long eschewed tribute projects or reprises of past glories. Two factors combined to change his mind on this remarkable occasion: the joy of delving into these extraordinary compositions with a modern urgency untouched by nostalgia; and his collaborators, both of whom share his expansive approach: pianist Jamie Saft and bassist Bradley Christopher Jones. “We’ve all had experiences playing so many different things,” Granelli says. “We all love the blues, whether we play them all the time or not, and we all love great songs — and these are really great songs. I don’t think material gets old; what gets old is when people try to recapture a stale version of the past. We were able to bring a really fresh feeling to this music, and that’s important to me. We didn’t try to recreate anything.”