Jazz has not concerned itself too often with this quest for certainty and identity. While many have concerned themselves with preserving history strictly through theory, they have missed the core of the music. Jazz, in its own essence, transcends any one style. Many ward off the encroaching free jazz movement by desperately clinging to their last stronghold of modal styles from the late 1950's. Much can be said about the rhythm & blues movement and the onset of funk and disco. I believe that Grover is one of these acts that does not limit itself to one class of thought.
I first met Caleb Hickman when he invited me to come along on one of his many classroom sessions that took place in a south city St. Louis cellar that houses over one hundred thousand vinyl lps, subsequently I would meet Brer there as well. These days began with an education in jazz and soul; theory, history, and applications towards the question of tomorrow. These days would end with hours spent with applying the aforementioned education to movement.
What is unique about an experience with Grover is that they do not seek to promote themselves, but rather a state of being through drawing inspiration from their history lessons in a dusty cellar.
Brer and Caleb met during their high school years in St. Louis and became the close friends to which one time Caleb jokingly referred to as "like father and son, but eventually I will have to put him in a home".
While the members of Grover began their studies of music during their elementary years, they did not collaborate until both were in their mid-twenties living in a new city. Brer would tell me, "It's a little funny that I had to follow this cat to another city and wait five years to play music with him. I think that's God's way of working though because I think it was over those five years that I became versed in the different schools of thought. I don't think within that time I could have held a candle up to him [Caleb] musically." But I assure you after hearing Grover, it's a match made in heaven. They are musical soul mates in a sense and while watching you can tell they are speaking their own language as the songs ebb and flow.
I can tell as Grover looks over their shoulder to the wall of dusty album covers that they are looking in the past for direction with the goal of putting the listener in that moment when the needle falls gently into the groove. Imagination is the means; inspiration is the end.
- Nat Williams
Impressions in Sound
released November 14, 2015
Horns & Keys: Caleb Hickman
Produced by: Brer Sunshine
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