Happy Birthday Lou Grassi

January 21, 1947

A birthday tribute to the versatile drummer

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Drummer Lou Grassi has had an unusually diverse career in jazz, ranging from ragtime to no-time.

Grassi is one of the very few musicians equally at home playing free improvisations or 1920s jazz, and he has performed around the world for the last three decades including modern jazz, avant-garde, Dixieland and blues festivals.

Among the long list of greats whose music he has uplifted are Marshall Allen, Billy Bang, Jimmy Garrison, Charles Gayle, Urbie Green, Johnny Hartman, Joseph Jarman, Sheila Jordan, William Parker, Perry Robinson, Roswell Rudd and John Tchicai to name a few.

Grassi has recorded prolifically including nine CDs of his own, and he has led the Lou Grassi PoBand since 1995 while working as a busy freelancer in New York; more about him can be found at http://www.lougrassi.com/

The NU Band, a quartet comprised of Grassi, trumpeter Thomas Heberer, altoist Mark Whitecage, and bassist Joe Fonda, performs Lou Grassi’s swinging “The Last Of The Beboppers,” a freebop piece a bit reminiscent of the early Ornette Coleman Quartet.

-Scott Yanow


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