Larry Grenadier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Larry Grenadier
Grenadier at Jazz Standards with Fly
April 9, 2009 Photo: Claire Stefani
Background information
Born (1966-02-06) 6 February 1966 (age 48)
San Francisco, California United States
Genres Jazz
Occupations Musician
Instruments Double Bass
Labels ECM
Associated acts Brad Mehldau, Fly

Larry Grenadier (born February 6, 1966 in San Francisco, California) is an American jazz double bassist. Grenadier is a member of Brad Mehldau's Trio and Fly with saxophonist Mark Turner and drummer Jeff Ballard.

Early Life[edit]

His father, Albert, was a trumpet player, and his two brothers, Phil and Steve, would eventually play trumpet and guitar respectively. Grenadier too began on trumpet when he was 10 years old. His father taught him to read music and gave him his first lessons. A year afterward, when Larry Grenadier was eleven, he was given an electric bass guitar so that he and his brothers could play together as a band. He took a quick liking to the instrument, playing and practicing constantly. The three brothers performed current rock songs of the day at parties by learning the parts off of records. Larry’s older brother Phil began listening to jazz around this time, and slowly his listening habits filtered down to the younger brothers. Grenadier soon got hooked on jazz as well and began listening intently to jazz bassists like John Patitucci, Ray Brown, Charles Mingus, Brian Bromberg, Les Claypool, Richard Davis, Jeff Chambers, Wilbur Ware and Oscar Pettiford.

Hearing legendary upright bassists inspired Grenadier to borrow an upright bass and try to emulate what he was hearing on records. By the time he was 12, Grenadier began formal study of the acoustic bass, studying with local jazz bass players Chris Poehlor, Paul Breslin, and Frank Tusa and later classical bassists Michael Burr and Steven Tromontozzi. At 16, Grenadier had a busy career playing in the San Francisco area with both local musicians and those traveling through town in need of a bass player. Some of these musicians included Harvey Wainapel, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Larry Vuckovitch, Eddie Henderson, Bruce Forman, Eddie Marshall, Vince Lateano, George Cables and Donald Bailey. Other visiting musicians Grenadier played with at this time were Toots Thielmans, Johnny Griffin, Charles McPherson, Anita O'Day, and Frank Morgan. Grenadier went on to study at Stanford University and graduated in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English Literature. At Stanford, Grenadier got to know Stan Getz, who was the Artist in residence there at the time. He played with Getz often, as well as touring with Getz's band.


After college graduation, Grenadier moved to Boston to play with Gary Burton. Grenadier toured all over the world with Burton and his band, which at that time included Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Marty Richards. In 1991, Grenadier moved to New York and began musical associations with a wide variety of musicians. Some of these included musicians Larry had met during his time in Boston and included talents such as Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jorge Rossy, Mark Turner, and Chris Cheek. Others he met for the first time in New York such as Kevin Hays, Bill Stewart, Renee Rosnes, Ralph Moore, Billy Drummond, Danilo Perez, David Sánchez, Tom Harrell and Billy Hart. Grenadier continued his association with Joe Henderson touring with his band which at times included Al Foster, Renee Rosnes and Larry Willis. Grenadier also spent a few months during his earlier years in New York playing in Betty Carter's band.

In the early 1990s, Grenadier first met and played with pianist Brad Mehldau. Mehldau's trio (including Grenadier and Jorge Rossy) went on to become successful. They toured constantly throughout the 1990s and recorded many albums together.

Also during this time Grenadier played in John Scofield's band and with guitarist Pat Metheny, with whom he toured as a trio along with drummer Bill Stewart. Grenadier credits his experiences touring with Metheny's trio as a significant learning experience.[1] Other musicians Grenadier played with included Charles Lloyd, Billy Higgins, Michael Brecker, and Paul Motian.

Currently, Grenadier focuses much of his touring time playing with Brad Mehldau's trio, which, since 2004, has included drummer Jeff Ballard. He is also a part of the collaborative trio FLY which includes drummer Ballard and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner. They have recorded two critically acclaimed albums, the latest one being on the ECM label. Grenadier also tours and records with his wife, singer-songwriter Rebecca Martin.

Grenadier lives with Rebecca and their son Charlie James in the Hudson Valley north of New York City.


With Peter Beets

  • New York Trio — Page Two (Criss Cross, 2002)

With Peter Bernstein

  • Heart's Content (Criss Cross, 2002)
  • Stranger in Paradise (Venus, 2004)

With Seamus Blake

  • The Call (Criss Cross, 1993)
  • Four Track Mind (Criss Cross, 1994)

With Chris Cheek

  • Blues Cruise (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005)

With George Colligan

  • The Endless Mysteries (Origin Records, 2013)

With Jon Gordon

  • Ask Me Now (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Currents (Double Time, 1998)

With Phil Grenadier

  • Sweet Transients (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2000)
  • Playful Intentions (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2002)

With Kevin Hays

  • Ugly Beauty (Steeplechase, 1991)

With David Kikoski

  • Details (Criss Cross, 2003)
  • Limits (Criss Cross, 2005)

With Jonathan Kreisberg

  • Nine Stories Wide (Criss Cross, 2003)

With Charles Lloyd

With Herbie Mann

  • America/Brasil (Lightyear, 1995)
  • Celebration (Lightyear, 1995)

With Brad Mehldau

With Pat Metheny

With Paul Motian

With Rebecca Martin

With Chris Potter

With Enrico Rava

With Joshua Redman

With Kurt Rosenwinkel

With Jamie Saft

With David Sánchez

  • Sketches of Dreams (Columbia, 1994)

With Stan Sulzmann

  • The Jigsaw (Basho, 2004)

With Mark Turner

  • Consenting Adults (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Two Tenor Ballads (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • Yam Yam (Criss Cross, 1994)
  • In This World (Warner Bros., 1998)

With Scott Wendholt

  • From Now On (Criss Cross, 1995)

With Steve Wilson

  • Four For Time (Criss Cross, 1994)

With Chihiro Yamanaka

  • When October Goes (Atelier Sawano, 2002)
  • Madrigal (Atelier Sawano, 2004)
  • Lach Doch Mal (Verve, 2006)
  • Reminiscence (Verve, 2011)


  1. ^ Brannon, Mike (2010). "Bassist Larry Grenadier". All About Jazz and/or contributing writer/visual artist. AOL Retrieved 20 July 2010. 

External links[edit]