Grant Green – I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing

Grant Green – I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing from the Blue Note Lp Carryin’ On

This was a special weekend, as The Asbury Park 45 Sessions celebrated a year anniversary. It’s special because it’s proof that in this whole world of music, the sad state of radio and in music today, that the foundation much of today’s sound is based on can still draw a diverse crowd. A crowd that is as eager to learn about new sounds as it is to embrace the classic drum breaks. It makes me happy too, as this post marks a year’s anniversary of Flea Market Funk. I started off the blog with a with a Blue Note Records post, and I’d like to continue a year later with another. This artist is who really introduced me to Jazz Funk, a sound I immediately immersed myself into and never looked back. I was lucky to get a copy of Grant Green Alive! from DJ Prime, as I had been looking for a copy of this great live recording on vinyl. Thank you my dude. It inspired me to write about someone who’s influenced me musically. Here’s something from Grant Green’s 1969 Blue Note release Carryin’ On, a cover of James Brown’s “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open the Door, I’ll Get It Myself).

Born in St. Louis, MO in 1931, Grant Green was instructed on guitar by his father. By his early teens, he was playing as a professional guitar player with a Gospel group in St. Louis. By 1960, on the encouragement from Lou Donaldson, he was on his way to New York City. Inspired by Charlie Parker’s playing, he took what Parker was doing with the horn and applied that to his guitar playing. Green was equally comfortable whether it be Be Bop, R&B, Jazz Standards, Jazz Funk, Latin, or straight ahead Jazz. His unique style of play is recognized immediately, and his long career on Blue Note often is under appreciated as the true guitar genius he really was. Often pairing up with organ players such as Big John Patton or Brother Jack McDuff among others, he has played front man, side man, and studio session player. His addiction to heroin would side track his career in the mid sixties, however he’d return with a fervor and release some of the best Jazz Funk of his career, despite the commercial tag these recordings were given. The soundtrack to The Final Comedown and Green Is Beautiful would be fodder for future sampling, while Green’s rhythms would also influence the future genre of Acid Jazz. He’s played with and alongside many great musicians: Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, Ike Quebec, Elvin Jones, Larry Young, among others, and even his short stint with Verve (the double release with Donald Byrd, Up! with Donald Byrd and His Majesty King Funk is a killer) proved fruitful. His later stuff in the mid to late 70’s, particularly Easy on Versatile, resorted to lite Jazz covers of the Commodores and Billy Joel. It would be in this period, that Green would attempt to play out live again, only to die of a heart attack in 1979. His music does live on, and I can remember going to The Groove Merchant in San Francisco in the mid 90’s, eager to dig, and realizing that the $40 dollar price tag on a GG record was out of my league at the time. Over the years I’d grab a few Green releases on Lp, and have continued to check out all that Blue Note has released on cd, where titles that weren’t released still get shown the light of day one by one.

Always one to do covers, whether it was a standard, Latin, or Spiritual, Grant Green has also done his fair share of Funk and Soul covers. This interpretation of James Brown is absolutely superb. Not only because it’s James Brown, but because the players Green surrounded himself with on this track just plain kill it. Green’s guitar playing has always been on point, but the guy who really steps up on this tune as well is Tenor Saxophone player Claude Bartee. He wails on this cut, and with Idris Muhammad laying down the back beat, you know it has got to spot on. This record, as I mentioned earlier was the first recorded in a period where Green had taken about four years off from Blue Note (1965-1969) and recorded with other labels. He came back hard, and put out this full length slice of Jazz Funk pie. If you don’t have this record, I urge you to get it, as it’s a great example of what he was capable of in the genre. As a whole, the man is an underdog, a true unsung hero of the Jazz guitar. I’d just like to say thanks for a great first year here at Flea Market Funk. I’ve met many great people on here, and in real life through this blog. It’s living proof that the universal language is indeed music. As always, Keep Diggin’!

8 responses to “Grant Green – I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing

  1. congrats on the first year! i know there will be loads of great music on here in the coming years!
    keep up the good work and keep on diggin’! mike

  2. Hey Pres, Congrats on one year of sharing the jams and the Asbury Park sessions. This site rocks and no two ways about it. Keep up the fine work, brotha…

    And secondly, whoa – Charles Wright is my man but then I have always been a fan of Grant Green. Not sure how many of your readers realize his incredible history in hard bop jazz: check out the ‘Idle Moments’ record on Blue Note (or hell, ANY of Green’s Blue Note LPs!) for absolute proof in the matter. Idle Moments is one of the finest, smoovest, sweetest low-down mellow jazz tunes EVER…

  3. Grant Green is my dude. I will buy any record I see (45 or Lp), and I’ve amassed a pretty good collection cd wise. The man is definitely an underdog. Thanks for the kind words polk.

  4. I am a devoted fan of Grant. The song “Hurt So Bad” from this LP has the most absolutely sickening guitar solo, I rank it among the top guitar solos I have ever heard. This one big long descending notes lick he does sends shivers up my spine every time. His whole solo just drips with a chill, spiritual vibe. He really makes that guitar sing.

    One of my favorite things about this track is at the end of Claude’s sax solo, him and Idris do this coordinated dadat-dat-dadat-dah lick, and then Idris hits these two “bong bong” sounds on the toms and then comes back into the groove. Choice.

  5. Pingback: Grant Green - I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing | Jazz Guitar Digest·

  6. Pingback: Grant Green - I Want To Hold Your Hand « Flea Market Funk·

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