Tiny Grimes (1916 – 1989) began his
musical career playing drums and piano. In 1938 he took up the guitar
choosing the unusual electric 4-string tenor guitar. In 1940 he joined the
Cats And A Fiddle as guitarist and singer. In 1943 he joined the Art Tatum
Trio as guitarist and made a number of recordings with Tatum. The early
Tatum Trio recordings made for the Asch and Comet recording labels are some
of the more interesting early examples of Tiny Grimes’ guitar work.
Tiny Grimes is the inventor of "rock
and roll". Listen to "Tiny's
Boogie" (MP3), recorded at WOR studios on August 14, 1946, possibly the
very first "rock and roll" recording.
After leaving Tatum, Grimes recorded
with his own groups in New York and he recorded with a long list of leading
musicians; Ike Quebec, Cozy Cole, Leonard Feather and Buck Clayton, among
others. He was also selected to record with the famous Metronome All Star
Band and appears on the recording Look Out, on which he shared the guitar
duties with Billy Bauer.
During this time he made four
recordings with Charlie Parker that are considered excellent examples of
early bebop jazz; Tiny’s Tempo, Red Cross, Romance Without Finance, and I’ll
Always Love You.
Tiny Grimes continued to lead his own
groups into the later 1970’s and he recorded with Coleman Hawkins, Illinois
Jacquet and Roy Eldridge.
Photo copyright Classic Jazz Guitar
Our first contact to
Tiny Grimes was as we bought his record with Roy Eldridge "One Is Never Too
Old To Swing". This 1977 album was re-released as CD in 1990 and had found
its way to the "Super Bargain box" from where it floated to Sini's hand in
1992. The price was 5 FIM, around 1 USD.
music was just great and it became soon our most cherished disc, and we just
managed to order through Amazon four other recordings by Tiny Grimes. The
CDs are mainly remasterings mainly from the 40s and contain some new,
previously unreleased titles and takes. Over hilarous are the "Rocking
Highlanders" as the band is dressed in scottish style witk kilts and all as
you can see. This was in the late 40s and early 50s, so it was not totally
risk free. But the joke was understood as there seems not to be any writing
about any problems.
So our Friend, take some time and listen to the excepts available in the
One Is Never Too Old To Swing, 1990
Tiny Grimes and Friends, 1990
Tiny Grimes and His Rocking Highlanders, Vol I, 1990
Tiny Grimes and His Rocking Highlanders, Vol II, 1990
The Cats Will Swing For You (The Cats & the Fiddle), 2003
If you look carefully, you see the word young in the right CD's title.
The layout is similar (our CD's color originally was also blue). What is
the story behind this???