In the Missoulian's 'Entertainer,' October 3, 2002 Walk with Grant down 'Bisbe Street' By ERICA PARFIT for the Missoulian Jazz journeys in the night ARTIST: Greg Grant RECORDING: 'Bisbe Street' 'There are certain qualities about jazz that set it apart from other genres. Instead of merely telling a story, jazz creates a mood, then plays on imagination and emotion to present it's saga. It does this in a way that let's each mind create a story that is just a little different from any other. When I listen to 'Bisbe Street' by Greg Grant, of northwestern Montana, my mind's eye depicts a certain setting, and a particular time of evening, and although I'll describe those, to another listener, there may be a whole other story. Though the album carries a running theme, there is a separate story behind each song. 'When It Falls Down' comes to my ears as a solitary wanderer, cloaked in loneliness, strolling through a cobblestoned night. He looks in on well-lit groups of friends, laughing and dancing. In 'The Loneliest Immortal,' I hear a parade of dancers, also moving in the night, but here, there is a dark festivity. 'The Going' sings to me of a group of mysterious women dancers, weaving a tale with their feet, hips, and snapping it's rhythm with their fingers. 'Bisbe Street,' the title track, is almost mystic in it's full, echoing sound, as if inspired by the mighty cathedral on the street of it's creation. A snare trill gives the tune the opposing feeling of armies marching in the background of this mighty sound. Each song on 'Bisbe Street' was created on the streets in Barcelona, Spain. Grant's alto saxophone echoes through this album, much like it may have many Spanish summer nights, as he kept company with the cathedral on Bisbe Street near an arch, where he loved to play. Every song carries in it a sense of night, as if all were written within the confines of sunset to dawn. Even the most lively tunes hold the respect of the stillness of night. Harmonies are full, hollow sounds, like the notes that bounce and weave down a long stone street. Grant's musical moods are so inviting that each of the musicians joining him in creating this album has captured the language with fluency. Guido Perla's rhythm is more than a beat keeper. His snare, bass and cymbals hold the mood created by the clear, hollow sax, while creating an even more complex story line. James Whiton adds a double bass sound, which gives the music a depth like that of a river winding through the midnight hour. Grant brings in a Hammond organ for 'The Calling,' giving the song a cathedral feeling, and Billy Oskay joins the group on violin in 'Tears for Marseille,' a gentle yet passionate tune. For any who love to close their eyes and let music grab them by both ears, transporting them along it's notes, into their own imaginations, Grant has a spaceship for that very purpose. His long, echoing style, with it's turns and dips, creates a transportation device out of a not so ordinary saxophone. 'Bisbe Street' is a story-packed, mood-enhanced jazz journey.'
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