Guitarist Grant Geissman has completed his trilogy of
eclectic, original jazz. Bop! Bang! Boom! (Futurism Records,
2012) continues the model set by Say That and Cool Man Cool.
Each release is an attempt to recapture the spirit of fresh jazz as it
was decades ago.
“The key to making meaningful music for me is not to limit myself
stylistically,” Geissman says. “I actually can’t envision writing an
album where every track sounds the same.”
An assortment of session players and band leaders assist Geissman in
this effort. Among them are pianist Emilio Palame, bassist Trey Henry,
drummer Ray Brinker, percussionist Alex Acuna, and special guests Tom
Scott, Russell Ferrante and Larry Carlton.
“Boom” starts the set in sassy fashion. Geissman blends with tenor
saxophonist Brian Scanlon for the lead. The bouncy melody sets the pace.
During his middle solo, Geissman puts the guitar through a series of
rapid-fire phrases while maintaining that delightful vibe. Henry on
acoustic bass and Brinker are locked in with the background. Scanlon and
Palame also contribute solos.
“Un Poco Espanol” has a soft, elegant Latin vibe. Ferrante steps in on
Fender Rhodes piano. Scanlon switches to alto saxophone. Geissman’s
classical guitar gives it the right touch.
“$25 Stella” is a playful tune that has a hint of Dixieland, an element
personified by Henry’s playing of the tuba. Geissman’s instrument is a
1966 Stella acoustic guitar. Van Dyke Parks provides a major
contribution on accordion. Palame’s solo has suggestions of Dr. John or
Fats Domino influence.
Geissman co-wrote the Emmy-nominated theme to the CBS television series
Two and a Half Men. Over the years, he has also recorded with the likes
of Quincy Jones, Lorraine Feather, Cheryl Bentyne, Ringo Starr, Gordon
Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and Burt Bacharach. His years with Chuck
Mangione also includes the classic electric guitar solo to “Feels So
Bop! Bang! Boom! comes with extensive liner notes, photos of the
session, track-by-track personnel listing and collector’s cards. For
fans of vinyl, a limited edition of 500 prints have been pressed on
180-gram vinyl with “old-school” gatefold sleeve and all the inserts
contained in the CD version.