Jerry Granelli V16: Murder Ballad


Murder Ballad


Jerry Granelli V16


Vancouver '08 (Songlines SGL SA1577-2)

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Jerry Granelli (drums), David Tronzo (electric slide guitar), Christian Kogel (electric guitar), J. Anthony Granelli (electric bass).

Composed by J. Anthony Granelli


Recorded: The Factory, Vancouver, British Columbia, October 20-21, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Wow, talk about being in the moment! While the descriptions can lapse into cliché, sometimes the idea is completely appropriate – Granelli's V16 does play like they're of one mind. Yes, there is your verbal cliché. I have often referred to musicians employing a kind of “jazz groupthink,” though in this case there's no reason to avoid that linguistic construct because it's the truth.

The core of V16's sound is formed by the twin guitars of David Tronzo and Christian Kogel. They follow each other's thoughts, shift them slightly, make sly exterior references (Tronzo's slide angled against Kogel makes for some terrific Ornette-isms), and continue on the adventure of thematic development. The father and son team of Jerry and J. Anthony Granelli shouldn't be cast as mere “rhythm section” because they're equal parts of a team effort, with a bass passage or cymbal wash just as likely to complete a thought as the next guitar line.

“Murder Ballad” is a modern, noir-ish blues that feels quite unconventional. Maybe it's the instrumental lineup, or maybe it's just this group's ability to produce inner detail by their superior powers of focus, but the music develops some serious emotional weight.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski


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