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Jerry Granelli has died at the age of 80

Famed for his tenure in the Vince Guaraldi Trio and A Charlie Brown Christmas Jerry Granelli has died aged 80. The television soundtrack album released in 1965 included expanded themes from the animated Peanuts special of the same name plus jazz …

Published: 21 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 days.

Famed for his tenure in the Vince Guaraldi Trio and A Charlie Brown Christmas Jerry Granelli has died aged 80. The television soundtrack album released in 1965 included expanded themes from the animated Peanuts special of the same name plus jazz versions of Christmas music. Son J. Anthony confirmed his father's passing. The drummer had been in ill health and was hospitalised for lengthy periods last year. Granelli joined pianist Guaraldi's trio in 1962. Guaraldi died in 1976. The trio's bassist Fred Marshall died in 2001.

In his later career Jerry Granelli toured with Mose Allison, led his own groups and moved to Nova Scotia in Canada. He also established the Creative Music Workshop in 1996, a long time part of the Halifax Jazz Festival. Of his records in recent years his 2015 record What I Hear Now was notable partly for its highly layered compositional feel, the rhythm-maker at ease and playing loose joined by horns increasingly chamber-jazz like as the album entered deep waters and capable of wildly sprawling touches that know no limits. And his work with Denny Zeitlin and Charlie Haden on Carnival from the mid-1960s stands the test of time. But everything is overshadowed by his association with Guaraldi on A Charlie Brown Christmas which went on a decade ago to be added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Tags: jazz

Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Kings Place

Playing Joe Harriott material in this tribute the Nu Civilisation Orchestra led from the piano, conducted and musically directed by the elegant Peter Edwards this was one set with 'Formation', 'Modal and 'Straight Lines' the first pieces. Tap …

Published: 20 Jul 2021. Updated: 2 days.

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Playing Joe Harriott material in this tribute the Nu Civilisation Orchestra led from the piano, conducted and musically directed by the elegant Peter Edwards this was one set with 'Formation', 'Modal and 'Straight Lines' the first pieces. Tap dancer Annette Walker came on as a surprise guest.

The band was an 11-piece plus visuals projected in Hall 1 of the King's Cross, London, concert hall at the back over head from Catarina Rodrigues who was, as Edwards told us, ''part of the band''. Of the instrumentalists notable contributions came above all else in the Harriott role from one of the UK's greatest altoists Empirical's Nathaniel Facey who was simply superb, probably as good as I've ever heard him and he always sets the bar very high. In one free improv bit for instance when the band went very free he was quoting from Ornette Coleman and his soloing was generally scalding, intense and very gripping throughout. Harriott was one of the first free-players to adopt the language of Ornette although arriving with his own conception of abstraction independently in the 1960s by moving the sound on from the revolutions of Charlie Parker and adding an occasional Caribbean flavour.

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On tenor saxophone Xhosa Cole had less to do but when he broke free the contrast was graphic given his very different timbre and sense of timing. Scottish trombonist Anoushka Nanguy was excellent coming through more in the arrangements as the concert developed and Will Gibson on flute and clarinet, but particularly flute, had a lot to do and the way the arrangement gave contrasts between flute and baritone sax (played by Chelsea Carmichael who added some fine lines to the sax section voicings) was an astute piece of judgement by Edwards in shaping the Harriott body of work.

Crisply conducted by Edwards, above, Harriott's music has a lot of complexity and still sounds ahead of its time all these years on. The skill here was to make it communicate and give the players room to roam beyond the charts.

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Tap dancer Annette Walker performed with Nathaniel Facey, bassist Hamish Moore and drummer Rod Youngs within the ensemble in a featured number.

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Youngs gave the band a lot of oomph and this was a fine performance by the Jazz Jamaica player. 'Idioms' came off very well towards the end with Harriott's 'Calypso' the perfect way to end. SG

Nu Civilisation Orchestra main photo: Monika S. Jakubowska/Kings Place

Top left-to-right from back: Rod Youngs, Becca Toft, Ife Ogunjobi, Anoushka Nanguy, Hanna Mbuya; front row Nathaniel Facey, Xhosa Cole, Chelsea Carmichael, Will Gibson