2008 <> 2007<> 2003

V-16 is:
Jerry Granelli, drums, steel sculpture
David Tronzo, electric slide guitar
Christian Kögel, electric guitar
J. Anthony Granelli, electric bass

V16‘s first record came out in 2003 (The V16 Project, SA1544-2) with Anthony Cox on bass – though he never toured with the band – and the guitar team, the justly acclaimed David Tronzo and the equally talented Christian Kögel, a former student of Jerry’s in Berlin and member of his previous two-guitar band UFB. Like those bands, V16 ambles through the jazz cloakroom without hanging its hat. Jerry does say that it “rocks out” but also represents “jazz as it can be in the 21st century. The material is plasma-like, always in flux and development. We all have these vast musical lives that we’ve led and that’s what we bring with us….The band offers such a rich sound palette, I think of everybody as sound artists rather than musicians.” (By the way, the steel sculpture that Jerry plays was made for him by San Francisco artist Peter Englehart). We’ve been searching for a tag, but terms like “avant jamband” don’t really convey what’s going on, and compound descriptors like “spacey ambient/improv/freeform roots’n’blues-cum-chamber jazz” are unwieldy. And partly beside the point – they identify some stylistic markers and approaches but not what makes it all hang together. Jerry’s son J. Anthony, puts it this way: “We began to feel that instead of improvising around tunes we wanted to find a way to improvise within the tunes as a band. This is different than improvising on “solo” changes or specific sections. The band became more interested in playing each tune as if we were a single entity, like a big eight-handed musician. In this way the fabric of each song could be stretched and changed as we felt in the moment. Our only guideline is to try and convey meaning and depth in terms of the emotional qualities of the composition.”

Jerry, who has been part of Halifax’s Buddhist community for some twenty years, adds:
“There seems for me anyway to be a couple of things about whether there are limits or how it works. One is giving up the idea of SELF-expression…and being more interested, willing to let the music lead the way. So then the possibilities become much more open. This is perhaps one’s primary skill as a spontaneous composer. And I think it takes years of practice – or better, doing – and the right players. That’s why this band is so close to my heart. I love them all as people, and we have a past together musically, of different lengths, but we share common feelings about the music – also even the differences are interesting. The process of course involves both listening and responding, but the intention or motivation has to, like I said, be serving the music, and enjoying the openness of the moment, so I guess there must be an element of fearlessness, and bravery…and trusting each other and the music.”