Tiny Grimes

April 4, 2007

| Nicolai Foss |

I have been listening quite a bit to Tiny Grimes lately, particularly Callin’ the Blues and Tiny Grimes, 1944-1949. Grimes seems to be a rather under-rated player. He may be best known as one of the inventors of rock’n’roll (the rock’n’roll element is very much present on Callin’ the Blues) — which may be sufficient ground for many jazz buffs to disregard or even dismiss him.

Grimes performed on an electric tenor archtop with a bouncing robust style that owed more to Charlie Christian than to anyone else. He was, however, perhaps even more rhytmically direct than Christian and his tone was more distorted. His playing is the link between Christian and more contemporary players like Billy Butler, and, perhaps, Chris Flory and Duke Robillard. If you don’t know Tiny’s work, I strongly recommend the above two CDs (the latter also contains the classic four cuts with Charlie Parker).

UPDATE: Here is the only YouTube clip with Tiny.


2 Responses to “Tiny Grimes”

  1. […] blogged about a month ago on Tiny’s early work, praising it, but his work on this CD, recorded in […]

  2. Jean-Pierre Says:

    Thank you for this post on the great, if I may say so, “Tiny” Grimes, one of my favourite guitar players. I discoverd him a long time ago with “Some groovy four” (recorded in France, vinyle edition). He has been characterised as a “pre bop” guitarist by some author; I cannot say if this statement is fully perspicacious, as I have not a great knowledge of all the musicians who led to the bop stream, but his bouncing phrases are really swinging and groovy. I wish I would find some chords and solo transcriptions (in tablature). Have you heard about some?
    Sorry for my english…

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