The Grilly Brothers

"Take one part Cannonball Adderly, one part Jazz Messengers, add a pinch of Sonny Rollins, a dash of the Marx Brothers, remove all egos, mix in a world view and watch The Grilly Brothers cook. A unique, fun, and entertaining experience. The Grilly Brother’s gumbo serves a multitude of hip fans."

- Neil Tesser
Nationally renowned jazz critic, author “Playboy’s Guide To Jazz,”, Vice-Chairman, The Recording Academy ( Grammy’s), award winning  NPR scriptwriter.

“The Grilly Brothers are all Chicago, and they’ve been so for a long time: Lanny on drums and Dave on reeds first put their quintet together in 1979, which means before iPods, before flat-screen TVs – hell, that’s before the Interweb.

We’re talking about when pols’ planes still landed at Meigs Field, and jazz groups played every night at a subterranean cave called The Bulls, and most of us thought Pattie Fwa-Gras might be some Irish-African politician; the city had a lady mayor and three newspapers, the Berghof was still great, and the Cubs were . . . well, the Cubs.

The Grilly Brothers Band opened for Ahmad Jamal at the second Chicago Jazz Festival in 1980, and a bunch of fine players, better-known today, came through the ranks: guitarists Fareed Haque and Henry Johnson, bassist Steve Hashimoto, vibist Kathy Kelly, Mucca Pazza bandleader Mark Messing, to name just a few.

And also Mike Arnopol, the brainy bassist who acted as musical director for the original Grilly Brothers before gaining fame for his work with Patricia Barber.  Well, Arnopol is back for this recording, along with the Bros themselves; they’re the originals.

Add in Nick Drozdoff on trumpet – classical and jazz virtuoso (and also an award-winning teacher of high-school physics) – and veteran percussionist Eddie Mason; and then the keyboards whiz Jeff Kier, who wrote all the tunes for this disc; and now you’re getting back to it, to the hard-swinging funkified hard-bop of the 60s and 70s, which inspired them all in the first place.

And you know what?  Even with The Bulls long gone, and Meigs Field paved over, and pate foie-gras on and off and on the menu again, the Grilly Brothers still fit Chicago like a fur-lined Isotoner glove.”