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Carl Grubbs Ensemble \ Live at the Five Spot Discovery

Carl Grubbs

Carl Grubbs alto, soprano and tenor saxophonist is a native of Philadelphia, PA. He received early training from John Coltrane, who was married to his cousin, Naima. Through his family he was close to many of the history-making musicians of the 1950’s and 60’s. He was a guest soloist at the Philadelphia performance of Reggie Workman’s current project "African Brass", a tribute to John Coltrane.  

Carl’s career can best be described as one of diversity; composer, performer, teacher, leader, recording artist and presenter. With his late brother, Earl Grubbs he formed the Visitors, a quintet that recorded for Muse record label in the early 1970’s. Carl is a former member of the Julius Hemphill Saxophone Sextet; this group toured the United States and Europe performing two productions; Hemphill’s Long Tongues: A Saxophone Opera and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Production, Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Promised Land. 

The Carl Grubbs Ensemble will celebrate Thelonious Monk with a performance of selections from Live at the Five Spot Discovery, The Thelonious Monk Quartet, featuring John Coltrane as well as some of Carl’s favorite Monk tunes.

Tenor giant John Coltrane spent a brief but eventful six month residency with pianist composer Monk and it has been said that this was a match made in heaven.

Thelonious Monk at New York’s Five Spot

This recording, made at The Five Spot, New York City in late summer 1957, recorded by Carl’s cousin Juanita (Naima) Coltrane.

Participating artists:  The Carl Grubbs Ensemble

Carl Grubbs, saxophones
Eric Byrd, piano/keyboard
Blake Meister, bass
John Lamkin III, drums
Eric Kennedy, percussion