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Jerry Granelli helps Lethbridge Jazz Society celebrate first birthday

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Improvisation is a essential for true  jazz music according to Nova Scotia jazz drummer Jerry Granelli, who is looking forward to bringing his trio to the Black Tomato Lounge, Oct. 20.Jerry Granelli visits Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
“If there isn’t any improvisation then it is really hard to call jazz music.  Improvisation is the heart of it,” he said.

Granelli and his trio will be helping the Lethbridge Jazz Society celebrate a solid year of good jazz music.

He should know. He honed his jazz chops in the thriving ’50s  beatnik  San Francisco jazz scene and met cats like Gene Krupa, Dave Brubeck’s drummer Joe Morello and learned at their feet up until 1975, when he moved to Nova Scotia.


“I moved there because of Buddhism and because I wanted to not live in the U.S. anymore,” he said.
“It was great times and I learned from the best of them. There used to be four major jazz clubs there,” he said.


 He moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and immersed himself in the scene there.


“There are a lot of different musicians there and Halifax has a strong folk and roots  scene,” he continued.

 He met  band mates cellist  Simon Fisk and Danny Oore who plays  several saxophones as well as Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond, who provides ghostly vocals on his new CD Solaria.
“I’ve always wanted to have ghostly vocals on one of my CDs. So she’s on it. She’s in the background. She’s  one of the great Gaelic singers from Nova Scotia and she’s singing in a language you can’t understand. She’s one of the jewels,” he enthused.
 And while she isn’t joining him on the tour, which hits Montreal and then west to Lethbridge,  he is excited about his band.


“I’ve watched them grow up,” he said.
“They’re great musicians. They know how to listen and they know how to serve the music and that’s what the audience can feel,” he continued.

“Jazz isn’t really popular anymore. You have to stay on the road. It’s not like it used to be, when every city had three  or four big jazz clubs. Now there’s not even one, not even in new York, ” he observed.


“ I hope a lot of people come out because I guarantee it will be entertaining,” he said.

 Tickets cost $10 for Lethbridge Jazz Society members and students and  $15 for non-members at Long and McQuade  and the Black Tomato. The show begins at 8 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 October 2011 12:39 )  
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