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Marty Grosz

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Biography

One of jazz music's great comedians (his spontaneous monologues are often hilarious), Marty Grosz is a brilliant acoustic guitarist whose chordal solos bring back the sound of Carl Kress and Dick McDonough of the 1930s, while his vocals are very much in the Fats Waller tradition. It took Grosz a long time to get some visibility. He grew up in New York, attended Columbia University, and in 1951 led a Dixieland band with Dick Wellstood that was unrecorded. Based in Chicago, Grosz did record with Dave Remington, Art Hodes, and Albert Nicholas in the 1950s; led sessions of his own in 1957 and 1959 for Riverside and Audio Fidelity; and tried his best to coax Jabbo Smith out of retirement (some of their rehearsals were later released on LP), but was pretty obscure until he joined Soprano Summit (1975-1979). After that association ended, Grosz became a busy freelancer on the classic jazz scene, playing with Dick Sudhalter, Joe Muryani, and Dick Wellstood in the Classic Jazz Quartet, and later heading the Orphan Newsboys, a superb quartet that also includes Peter Ecklund, Bobby Gordon, and bassist Greg Cohen. Marty Grosz, a unique personality, has recorded several delightful sets for Jazzology and Stomp Off. ~ Scott Yanow

Top Songs

Birth Name:

Martin Oliver Grosz

Born:

28 February 1930 in Berlin, Germany

Genre
Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries