DANCE HALL ft. ROBBEN FORD
Friday July 13th, 7pm
St. Matthew's United Church
DANCE HALL The inspiration or vision for a recording, the source or the sound that I can hear (and almost see) in my head seems to arise in a moment. But it may take years to actually realize. That was the path of this album, Dance Hall. I can trace it back to the first recording I made with Bill and Robben in 1992, A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing. That’s when I started hearing the sound of two guitars as one big one – and that sound was Bill and Robben, both friends and colleagues. When we finished that recording, there was the spark for this work – wanting to hear them play rhythm and blues. Well, it took a long time, until 2015, when backstage at the jazz festival in Halifax; Bill asked the question “Are you ever going to record with that band again?” I said, “I have this idea for a rhythm and blues project.” He says, “I’m in.” I call Robben – same answer. “ Lee, what are you seeing?”… “Of course. Let’s do it.”
Finding the Material: The key for me was not doing covers, but finding songs that were personal to my journey. That is what each one of these songs is for me – from hearing Louis Jordan and “Caldonia”, I guess back to 4 years old, all the way through to hearing ARETHA sing “Never Gonna Break My Faith” on a flight from Europe a month before the recording. So that’s part of the story of how we got here.
This work for me reflects deep gratitude for all the artists who originally wrote and recorded these great songs, and for me at this point in my life, the sheer joy of playing the drums. We kept it as open and spontaneous within the forms as possible. Even Steven Bernstein’s horn writing, though precise, also left many options. And J. Anthony’s bass lines did the same. So perhaps this one is about the joy of finding the freedom in the form.
Jerry Granelli is one of the most widely recognized and highly regarded musicians in Nova Scotia. He is a supportive community leader and mentor for musicians and artists of all ages and backgrounds. Jerry was instrumental in the establishment of the Halifax Jazz Festival (formally the Atlantic Jazz Festival), which over the past 30 years has evolved to become a Signature Event in Halifax and the largest music festival in the Maritimes. Jerry is also a founder and longstanding creative director of the Creative Music Workshop, an intensive summer program that has been a flagship education program of the Halifax Jazz Festival for the past 21 years. With a career that spans 60 years, Jerry has had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Charlie Heyden, Mose Allison, Sonny Stitt, Sly Stone, Ornette Coleman and Vince Guaraldi. Jerry has recorded over 30 albums. His prolific and genre-crossing music has been recognized by institutions such as the Junos, The Grammy Awards, the National Library of Congress Sound Archives, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He continues to have a profound influence in the cultural community in Nova Scotia and beyond.