John Greaves

(Website)

John Greaves is a multi-talented artist, known to some as the virtuoso bass player in some of the more interesting “progressive” groups of the 1970s – Henry Cow, National Health – and to others as a singer/songwriter, and crafter of sophisticated, witty and beautiful songs. This distinction may mislead one into thinking that there have been two (or more) very distinct phases in his career, yet John Greaves has always stood at the crossroads of several musical traditions, which he has fused into a highly distinctive body of work.

Then after playing solo gigs for a while, accompanying himself on piano, he formed another band for The Little Bottle Of Laundry , still with Ovide, but with drummer Pip Pyle from the National Health days, and pianist Sophia Domancich.

in 2001, John Greaves the solo artist graced the world with a new album: The Caretaker has been three years in the making, and after the unique approach of Songs , marks his return to the forefront as a singer, bass player and songwriter. It is also a much more electric affair, much of it showcasing the trio of John, drummer Manuel Denizet and guitarist François Ovide, the latter being replaced by Patrice Meyer for gigs supporting the album.

This CD is followed by a signature of John to French label Le Chant du Monde (Harmonia Mundi), which in turn releases two new albums in 2003: A splendid trio CD with young and much respected pianist Sofia Domancich and the astounding cellist Vincent Courtois, The Trouble with Happiness; and a very special song album, with texts by theatre director and artist Christophe Glockner and interpreted by the beautiful voice of Elise Caron: Chansons.

Le Chant du Monde also re-releases the classic Kew/Rhone. John Greaves’ next album will put the work of a great French poet into music – and he will sing in French all through the album.


Albums

Verlaine

Label: Zig Zag Territoires - ZZT080202
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: February 21, 2008

With his baritone grain, John Greaves lets us enter a world where the heroes are dream, suggestion, eroticism, absinth vapors, and Verlaine’s writings. At the heart of a production where the instrumental structures are a base for absolute freedom, his interpretation, both surrealist and aesthetic, invents a new style of sorts: the “contemporary pop lied”. A musician of his time, a unique and endearing singer, John Greaves carries within himself beautiful utopias. A composer of refined melodies and talented negotiator of musical risk taking, he disintegrates musical habits and makes the avant-garde approachable for us. Divinely anachronistic, his Verlaine is an album out of time, and consequently essential.

John Greaves - Verlaine

Tambien

Release date: January 01, 2005

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John Greaves - Tambien

Chansons

Label: Le Chant du Monde - 274 1261
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: January 01, 2004

Chansons is the most recent of John Greaves’ records. It is not just Christophe Glockner’s French lyrics or David Venitucci’s accordion, it’s a whole Gallic experience that recalls boulevard cafés, rive gauche cabarets, coffee and digestifs. It is beautifully sung by Elise Caron and the instruments combine to create the impression of a chamber ensemble with Sclavis’ woodwinds blending perfectly with Vincent Courtois cello, Venitucci’s accordion and Greaves’ bass and piano. It prompts a range of emotions, a kind of happy-sad but ultimately hopeful sensation. (Duncan Heining/ Jazzwise).

John Greaves - Chansons

The Caretaker

Label: Blueprint
Distribution in France: Mélodie
Release date: May 01, 2001

John Greaves - The Caretaker

Songs

Label: Le Chant du Monde - 274 1198
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi

Release Date : Re-release 2004

John Greaves - Songs