Henry Grimes and Rashied Ali are Going To The Ritual. Join them on the new release by JazzNewYork Productions.
Bassist Henry Grimes has joined drummer Rashied Ali to create wonderful new music. Going To The Ritual is a symphony of sound. My choice of the word symphony is very deliberate. Despite having only two artists to fill the musical canvas, this is a very full sounding date. They maximize the space they have to work with, bringing out the best in each other’s artistry. Both musicians exhibit a deep strength and focus that carries the music throughout the recording.
The date opens with Ali behind the set, laying down a definitively creative introduction to Hidden Forces Aggregate. His driving percussion work is infused with impressive phrasing and dexterity. His agility is complemented by a clear direction with which to share his musical vision. Ali sets his original piece on its course before Henry enters the picture. Bringing his heavyweight champion bass sound, Henry shows why he is one of the most respected improvisers on the planet. This selection includes some of his work with a bow before giving way to dynamic conversation between him and Ali.
This is followed by Mr. Grimes reciting an original poem entitled Easternal Mysticism. The poem was recently published in his new book of poems, Signs Along the Road. His reading is accompanied by the bow of his bass and Rashied’s drums.
Gone Beyond the Gate, the third track, is a tour de force of free jazz. Henry starts out on bass with melodic runs that seem to search out for, and at the same time provide, meaning, fulfillment, musical nourishment. His playing here feels at times bluesy, at times funky but all the time played with great feeling and sensitivity. This is where Henry adds another element to the session by putting down the bass and picking up the violin. Moving back to the bass, sometimes with the bow, Henry keeps things lively on this 25-minute track. The song closes out pleasantly with Henry and Rashied trading inspired lines.
The final selection "This Must Have Always Happened" features some striking solo work by Rashied, interspersed with another taste of Henry’s violin playing and poetry reading. Near the end of this track, Henry briefly showcases some hauntingly beautiful bow work.