Guest Author - Danielle Crowe
As a melodic and grooving jazz ensemble, Project Grand Slam are bold, dynamic and ready to make their mark in both the jazz and overall musical world. Reuniting in the studio four years after their debut album Play was released, PGS are back with a more modern, up-beat and feel-good vibe.
Formed in 2007 and led by bassist/composer/renowned contemporary jazz solo recording artist Robert Miller, Project Grand Slam also includes Ron Thaler (drums) and Gilad Ronen (saxophones).
The band’s debut album, titled Play, was released in 2008 and produced by Frank Filipetti. Three years later, long-time friend Lou Holtzman suggested that the band record a second album at his renowned NYC facility called EastSide Sound. With five of Miller’s own songs, two of Gilad’s and a cover of “He Ain’t Heavy,” Project Grand Slam quickly got to work, and after only a few days of rehearsal, the band nailed all of their songs within a week – with most songs taking only two or three takes!
After much work and dedication, Project Grand Slam’s latest album Spring Dance was created and released on July 3, 2012 through Cakewalk Records. The album’s title track has a great melody and groove, and Miller has said that it captures the overall feel of the band in an up-beat, feel-good kind of way. With two musical tributes on the album, “Joe Z” is a tribute to Joe Zawinal and features high-energy, exotic chanting and a retro vibe, whereas “Ma Petite Fleur” is a sensual and elegant dedication to Miller’s wife. Also, songs like “Catch You Later” and “Flat Busted” are blues-funk inspired jazz tunes with an urban, groovy appeal, and “Remember” and “The Turn” are soulful ballads featuring saxophones, strings and horns for those who enjoy the smoother, smokier side of music.
As an avid music lover who doesn’t listen to a lot of jazz, I can honestly say that I give high praise to Project Grand Slam. They are a band with an obvious musical passion and a trained ear for perfectly flowing melodies that I highly respect.
For more information on Project Grand Slam or to listen to their music, check them out on their personal website at http://www.projectgrandslam.com, or visit their pages on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube.