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Album Review

How interesting that Tiny Grimes, an accomplished jazz musician with ties to bebop, swing, and jive, has a portion of his recorded legacy partitioned off into the category of R&B. That's the way Classics divvies it up, and this disc has therefore been designated as "the third and final CD of Tiny Grimes' rhythm & blues years." While genre delineations are usually arbitrary, the presence of Red Prysock, Freddie Redd, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins certainly tips the scales in favor of the R&B tag. Note also the presence of gifted swing-to-bop pianist Sir Charles Thompson. This exciting chronological compilation presents what appear to be all of the recordings issued under Grimes' name that were made between November 1951 and May 1954. Hopping from Chicago to New York to Philadelphia, Grimes cut 18 sides during this time period for the Gotham, United, Apollo, Atlantic, and Red Robin record labels. The Red Robin sides were issued as by Tiny Grimes & His Rocking Highlanders. A press photo of the entire band wearing kilts and tams bears silent witness to this curious phase of the guitarist's eventful career.


Born: 07 July 1916 in Newport News, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Tiny Grimes was one of the earliest jazz electric guitarists to be influenced by Charlie Christian, and he developed his own swinging style. Early on, he was a drummer and worked as a pianist in Washington. In 1938, he started playing electric guitar, and two years later he was playing in a popular jive group, the Cats and the Fiddle. During 1943-1944, Grimes was part of a classic Art Tatum Trio which also included Slam Stewart. In September 1944, he led his first record date, using Charlie Parker;...
Full Bio
1951-1954, Tiny Grimes
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