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Jimmy Mak's - April 1, 2006
Grant Richards CD Release Party

It was my birthday and I had plans to go out dancing to a marimba band, but then I heard pianist Grant Richards was having a CD release party at Jimmy Mak's, so I changed my plans. Grant is 15 years old and a freshman in high school. He received Downbeat Magazine's Annual Student Award for Solo Instrumentalist in the Junior High Division in 2004, and the award for Best Jazz Arrangement in 2005. I've heard Grant many times and am always impressed with his talent and his poise. And he composes too!

Grant used the same musicians at his release party that he performed with on his CD, Extra Step, Rob Davis on tenor saxophone, bassist Dave Captein, and Drew Shoals on drums. Grant wrote seven of the ten songs on his CD and played them all. Mar's is a funky tune named after a Chinese restaurant where he's had a long running weekly gig. La Rue is dedicated to his sister. Night Time in Southeast is about his neighborhood and has a fun, loping rhythm. Stress was, of course, frenetic. I wondered about the time signature of Extra Step and found my answer in his liner notes, "The song is in 5 and each bar is divided into 2 phrases of 2 ½ beats until the bridge, rather than 3 & 2 or 2 & 3." A lot of his songs ended in humorous, surprising ways. Grant was obviously having a great time, relaxed and happy, surrounded by friends and family, and fans. Check out his website at http://grantrichardsjazz.com/index.php

Jimmy Mak's is at 300 NW 10th Ave, but April 15th is their last night at that location. They're moving kitty corner, opening in early May. http://www.jimmymaks.com


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