Grainger - Phase II


Grainger are the multi-instrumentalists and brothers Gary Grainger (bass guitar, tenor bass, keyboards and vocals) and Gregory K. Grainger (drums, percussion, keyboards and vocals). Gary Grainger is well-known as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire 's protege band "Pockets" and from his time with the soul singer Luther Ingram. He also met Eumir Deodato, and recorded two albums with him: "Night Cruise" and "Happy Hour". 

Gary's other recent endeavors include, both performing and studio work with Maysa, Lonnie L Smith, Pure Soul, Nancy Wilson, Dennis Chambers and George Duke in the Walt Disney's Clinton Inauguration Special "Celebrations for Youth", also Eric Marienthal, Slim Man, Nelson Rangel, The WPG' Trio, Less Traveled and Ken Navarro to name a few. 

After his debut album "Phase I", which includes collaborations with Maysa, Kim Waters, Paul Jackson Jr., Gary Thomas, Ramlee, Moe Daniels, Jimmy Wilson and Dan Reynolds, they have released in 2002 "Phase II". This album is featuring Gary and Gregory Grainger along with the talents of John Scofield, Kim Waters, Dan Reynolds, Marshall Keys, Moe Daniels, Benjie Porecki, Skip Pruitt, Robert 'Wa Wa' LeGrand, Alfredo Mojica, Jake Sheffer, Charlie Williams, Jarrett Miles, Larry Jacobs, and introducing Tré Jonz and T'Hai on vocals.

The title Sco Sco Swing is obviously dedicated to John Scofield, who is featured on guitar. Gary Grainger 's fantastic bass guitar solo with a very hooking effect is followed by Scofield's guitar solo, all based on a grooving hip-hop rhythm. This tune is the best of the album and will give you an immediate kick to buy it.

Always Love is a slow love song featuring Tré Jonz warm vocals. One can find this combination of vocals and sax solo (Skipp Pruitt) on many Urban Contemporary albums. But on this track the sax solo is expanded.

The uptempo title tune Phase II is going into jazz fusion. The mainweight is on the bass with a strong rhythm background (timbals, cowbells, Sabian cymbals, Pearl drums) and saxophone. Gary Thomas pushs the tune deep into jazz fusion with a long sax solo. 

Get Up turns the style to Contemporary Jazz featuring the great pianist Dan Reynolds and the gifted sax player Marshall Keys. The perfect performance of all players makes me eager to know more about their solo projects. It's a long time ago, since I reviewed Dan's album "To Be Sure" (1998). By the way a very outstanding work! This album is available at CDBaby and His new album is really overdue. Marshall Keys album should be released this year, but negotianions failed and we are still waiting. 

Sha Sha-like swings Gary's bass guitar on Coconut Essence. Let's go on the dancefloor! Benjie Porecki showcases a great talent on keys. If you want to read and listen more about this jazz musician check his solo projects at Severn records or read about the WPG Trio (André "Blues" Webb and Gary Grainger are the both others).

Now You're Gone is another love song in Urban Contemporary style featuring the lovely T'Hai.

The funk starts with Chicken Wire. John Scofield plays the funky "Chicken" guitar solo supported by Benjie Porecki on keys.

You Were Mine is addictive. I am fascinated by Gary's bass guitar playing. One can absolutely count him to the great bass players like Marcus Miller, Gerald Veasley, Brian Bromberg, Luico Hopper or Chuck Smith to name a few.

Kim Waters is a well-known sax player with great success as a Shanachie artist. It's Time for Kim. A typical Kim Waters piece.

Moe-Is-Am features Moe Daniels on keys and piano. Moe Daniels is one of the most in-demand keyboard players in the Baltimore Washington area. He has played on recordings by Lonnie Liston Smith, Kim Waters, Parris Lane, Nancy Wilson and Jaared Arosemena (Now better known as Jaared).

After listening this album I immediately bought "Phase I". 


Further informations
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