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Noon Edition

Gigi Gryce, Part 2: Rat Race Blues

Gigi Gryce 1960

In the late 1950s alto saxophonist and composer/arranger Gigi Gryce began his second music publishing company, as well as a fruitful new alliance with trumpeter Donald Byrd that resulted in half a dozen recordings made under the name of the Jazz Lab.

Personal and professional shadows were starting to lengthen, however, and by the early 1960s Gryce had vanished from the jazz world altogether. He spent the last 20 years of his life teaching in the New York City public school system, and his second wife didn’t even know that he had once been a jazz musician.

In this program we’ll hear more remarks from Michael Fitzgerald, co-author of the Gryce biography Rat Race Blues, as well as music from Gryce’s work with the Teddy Charles Tentet, Oscar Pettiford’s big band, the Jazz Lab, and Gryce’s last recordings as a leader, including the rarely-heard Reminiscin’.

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