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Album Review

Los Angeles-born, New York-based pianist Danny Grissett debuts as a leader with the exquisite Promise. Evenly split between originals and standards, Promise makes a strong case for Grissett as one of the best pure jazz pianists on the contemporary scene. Recorded in a single session with standup bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Kendrick Scott, Promise has the cerebral cool of a classic '50s piano trio date, but Grissett is no mere mimic of a time gone past: the opening take on John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" starts with a languid piano solo, but quickly builds into a spirited three-way exchange that's thrilling to hear in a way that much contemporary jazz isn't. Fundamentally, these three young players sound like they're having tremendous fun: even more reflective tunes like "Where Do We Go from Here?" and "You Must Believe in Spring" swing with an enviable lightness of touch. In particular, Scott's shimmering cymbal rolls on the latter are a playful but note-perfect touch complementing Archer's subtle bow work. Promise is easily one of the best jazz debuts of 2006, and should rank high on any self-respecting list of the great jazz releases of the year.


Born: 1975 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

New York-based jazz pianist Danny Grissett is a native of Los Angeles who began playing piano around age five. After receiving his B.A. in Music Education in the late '90s, Grissett went on to study jazz, earning his M.F.A. in Jazz Performance from Cal Arts in 2000. After graduation, Grissett found performance opportunities throughout the Los Angeles area with such notable artists as drummer Billy Higgins, saxophonist Jackie MacLean, and others. In 2003, Grissett relocated to New York City and began...
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Promise, Danny Grissett
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