Fred Grand

174 POSTS 0 Comments
Having been introduced to jazz from an early age by my late father, the music has been central to my life for close to 50 years. After undergoing a genuine moment of epiphany in the late 80s at a blazing gig by David Murray while studying in the Midlands, I developed a strong bias towards the avant-garde and set out on a path that subsequently led me towards concert promotion, a failed attempt as a gigging musician, and ultimately to music criticism. After completing my studies I returned to my native North East in 1991, eager to follow my calling. Co-opted onto the committee of Britain’s oldest grant funded promoter, Jazz North East, I worked alongside the late Chris Yates for almost a decade. With his considerable forbearance we brought many exciting acts to Tyneside. Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark, Jemeel Moondoc and John Fahey all passed through. I also co-founded no-fi, an organisation that showcased an eclectic range of left-field musics including jazz, improvised music, post-rock, electronica and beyond. There were many special nights in the company of such luminaries as Sunny Murray, Squarepusher, To Rococo Rot and the Chicago Underground Duo - the latter even slept on my lounge floor to cut back on overheads. My short-lived musical career as the skronking tenor saxophonist with avant Afro-beat ensemble Erratica didn't set the world alight, but some still recall the sax-drums assault of Erratica splinter-group Mr Warthog with fondness. Eventually settling for the more sedate life of a critic, good friend Brian Marley (The Wire) got me a break as a contributor to underground fanzine Rubberneck in around 1997. Next came Trevor Taylor’s Avant, and after an introduction to Richard Cook’s Jazz Review by fellow JJ contributor Andy Hamilton I eventually found my way here. My current tastes are far broader than in the 90s, but I have a special bias towards contemporary European jazz. Most importantly, I still get excited every time a new batch of review discs lands on my doormat...

Tomas Fujiwara: Pith

Harald Lassen: Balans

Peter Bruun: Thēsaurós


Geni Barry: Looking Back

The clue is in the title as this collection houses eight tracks by the Barry group recorded between 2001 and 2009. Eight selections were made at the Jazz Cava...

Louis Armstrong: ‘more important than Picasso’

From his initial and life-enhancing discovery of jazz, poet Philip Larkin’s love of Louis Armstrong (1901-71) was expressed in broadcasts, correspondence, record and book reviews. As the first of...

Kenny Burrell’s travails

It’s terribly sad to hear that Kenny Burrell, premier guitarist from Blue Note’s golden era of the late 50s and early 60s, has fallen on hard times. In poor...

Obituary: Charlie Watts

Count me in… 11/20

Gerry Mulligan: Writings On A Jazz Original

The former drummer with Bobby Troup, Anita O'Day and others has assembled into a book 52 articles illuminating Mulligan's work and life

Prehistory Of Jazz

JJ 10/93: Jan Garbarek Group – Twelve Moons

Thirty years ago Michael Tucker noted in Garbarek's music resonances of Ayler, Davis, Coltrane, Weather Report, Grieg and Nordic folk

Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool – the film

Fans of Miles Davis may remember some grainy old footage of the trumpeter shadowboxing in a gym sometime during the mid-1960s. It’s a clip that in previous docs has...