Every now and then we get a nice email asking for us to take some flyers and otherwise help promote a music project. We’ll always say yes but after reading this email I asked for a couple of tickets to competition off and said I’d write a blog post, take flyers, post on FB, twitter, Instagram and basically shout from the roof.
The email was letting me know about this film showing in the Cameo on 8th July. The Grant Green Story. It’s a biopic about a cultish Blue Note guitar player. I even don’t know a whole lot about the man myself but I have known for a long time that he was a kick-ass guitarist and that he recorded with the best jazz label of all time, Blue Note. He recorded with the best and made some records that are now incredibly rare. (His early records sell for about £400 and basically never ever turn up). Maybe the 1960s focused on the brass with trumpeters like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and Coltrane on the saxophone or maybe his records’ scarcity means that over the years thee are haven’t been enough collectors getting hold of them to able to spread the word about how great they are, “look at what I just picked up!”, “hear this guy play!”. The result is that a guitarist like Grant Green has maybe not had the widespread recognition he deserves. A good proportion of our jazz customers will know his music well and have heard his playing on some classic Blue Notes but won’t know his story. Green’s own son didn’t know his father’s story and that is essentially what the film is about.
A good place to begin. You’re in for a long trip!
I just dipped in to the Grant Green back catalogue and instantly recognised a riff used by Public Enemy.
That’s Grant Green Ain’t It Funky Now. He’s certainly been sampled a lot by hip hop diggers.
Before the Trainspotting soundtrack, there was the Blue Note label and Green was one of many jazz musicians of the era to find heroin a bit moreish. He has a stellar back catalogue -as well as his own releases, he performed on countless Blue Note albums- which may be some compensation for a life cut short but this doesn’t apply as much for the family as it may do for the fan. The Blue Note album covers were always gorgeous and so many have become iconic although they didn’t really have to give some of Grant Green’s a hint of green… But they work for me all the same. [I just found out that he loved the colour green and drove a green Cadillac and so on] I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie and I’m sure it will help bring his music to a whole new audience. His daughter in law, Sharony Green, co-directed the movie and hosts the Q&A afterwards.
Although originally a competition, it’s now free!
Register for tickets here. -It’s difficult to find on the Cameo website. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-grant-green-story-tickets-34651299971
Here’s the film promo, trailer and some useful links:
Join us for the first screening in Europe for the soon-to-released documentary on the late jazz guitarist Grant Green, one of the most recorded artists for Blue Note Records, America’s first independent jazz label. This feature length film presents a son’s search for his father, the guitar legend, via his own memories and those of others. Since the 1990s, Grant’s music has been sampled by everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Kendrick Lamar. Learn more about the backstory involving the man whose guitar licks inspired a generation of jazz and hip hop listeners alike. The film features, Lou Donaldson and George Benson, among others. 61 minutes followed by Q & A.
For more about the film, visit www.grantgreenabluenote.com