Oluyemi Thomas | Henry Grimes | The Power Of Light | Not Two Records

It’s widely known that Henry Grimes stopped playing music in 1968 and didn’t touch the bass for nearly 35 years. Since picking up the instrument again four years ago, he has regained the strength and authority that earned him a strong reputation in the first place. His approach and tone put him in league with highly skilled players associated with the instrument. He moved gracefully around the neck, plucking rapidly and producing sounds with a deeply penetrating tone and authority. Half the time, his pizzicato lines came while holding the bow in his hand, ready to launch into some deep blue arco lines at a moment’s notice. The performance marked the first collaboration of Grimes and multi-reedist Oluyemi Thomas, the latter a resident of Oakland, Calif, and a member of the music and poetry unit Positive Knowledge. Mutual artistic respect brought the duo together and the rapport continued throughout their musical exchanges. Thomas switched among bass clarinet, musette, soprano sax and wooden flute. Along the way, he added gongs and shakers, as well as the occasional dance move to drive home a theatrical quality and the enthusiasm of the evening. His soprano playing offered an especially compelling section of the hour-long performance… — Mike Shanley / Jazz Times Continue reading