Record Label: 8th Records
The career of hard bop saxophonist Gigi Gryce may have been short, but it was one filled with innovation and left a remarkable legacy. Before a series of financial issues with his publishing companies forced him out of the music industry, he lead the way in early usage of quartal harmony, which would become a standard during the era of cool jazz, and regularly utilized unorthodox forms of harmonization, instrumentation, and meter,which regularly walked the line between experimental and contemporary. Compositions of Gryce's such as "Minority", "Nica's Tempo", and "Up In Quincy's Place" have become minor jazz standards, and are considered indispensible parts of the bebop era of jazz.
During his short career, Gigi Gryce would work with an array of legends such as Charlie Parker, Art Blakey, Benny Golson, and in 1957, trumpeter and band-leader Donald Byrd. The two got together with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Art Taylor as backing to produce seven cuts of smoothly textured hard bop, under the banner of Jazz Lab. The resulting record proved to be an exceptional critical hit, and is now considered a paragon of the subgenre, and a more than worthy introduction to hard bop.