Give Now

Night Lights Classic Jazz

Now Found: Henry Grimes

Night Lights talks with Henry Grimes, the legendary bassist who returned to the jazz scene after disappearing for more than 30 years.

Play Episode (Real Audio)
Henry Grimes and Fred Anderson

Photo: Mark Sheldon

Henry Grimes performing with saxophonist Fred Anderson.

Bassist Henry Grimes played with everybody from Benny Goodman to Albert Ayler and appeared on some of the 1960s’ most significant jazz recordings before vanishing for more than 30 years. Long rumored to be dead, he was discovered living in Los Angeles in 2002. William Parker, a bassist who’d been strongly influenced by Grimes’ work, donated an instrument to Grimes, who began to play again for the first time in three decades. Since then Grimes has re-emerged as a potent force in the world of improv, and his story has turned from mystery into one of the greatest comebacks in the history of jazz. We’ll hear selections from Grimes’ 1960s work with Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, Perry Robinson, and others, as well as Grimes’ sole 1960s leader effort (The Call) and a track from his 2004 trio CD with saxophonist David Murray and percussionist Hamid Drake. In addition, Grimes talks to us about his years away from the jazz scene.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

Notes: Opening theme.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Funk Dumpling
Perry Robinson — Funk Dumpling (Savoy, 1962)

Notes: Henry Grimes composition. Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Moon Ray
Roy Haynes — Out of the Afternoon (Impulse, 1962)

Notes: Henry Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
There Will Never Be Another You
Sonny Rollins — 3 In Jazz (52725, 1963)

Notes: Henry Grimes on bass.

album cover
Ol' Man River (take 2)
Albert Ayler — Goin' Home (Black Lion, 1964)

Notes: Henry Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Fish Story
Henry Grimes — The Call (ESP, 1965)

Notes: Midpoint music bed. Henry Grimes composition; Henry Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Son of Alfalfa
Henry Grimes — The Call (ESP, 1965)

Notes: Henry Grimes composition. Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Elephantasy (excerpt)
Don Cherry — Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1965)

Notes: Henry Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Japan
Pharoah Sanders — Tauhid (Impulse, 1966)

Notes: Henry Grimes on bass.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Conquistador (excerpt)
Cecil Taylor — Conquistador (Blue Note, 1966)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Flowers for Albert
Henry Grimes — Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival (Ayler Records, 2004)

Notes: David Murray on tenor sax, Hamid Drake on drums.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Night Lights
Gerry Mulligan — Night Lights (Polygram, 1963)

Notes: Closing theme.

Buy from Amazon »
album cover
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Night Lights Classic Jazz:

Support For Indiana Public Media From

About Night Lights

Search Night Lights

where to hear night lights

This Week On Afterglow

Duet: Doris Day and Andre Previn

Doris Day Andre Previn Duet

Doris Day is a celebrated American movie icon—but there’s much more to her legacy than PILLOW TALK.

Read more »

Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

More from Afterglow »