A biography (in English) about legendary jazz musician and poet Henry Grimes.
Nominee for 2016 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research
compelling narrative is told with empathy and her research has insights
in tune with the beating pulse of the eras that she describes"
Searle, MORNING STAR, Sept. 15 2015)
"Barbara Frenz ... publie une biographie très approfondie du grand bassiste de jazz Henry Grimes, né à Philadelphie le 3 novembre 1935, ce qui fait du jour de sortie de l'ouvrage un beau cadeau d'anniversaire pour Henry Grimes. Ce détail n'en est pas un puisqu'il a fallu l'opiniâtreté d'une recherche exceptionelle, avec, on le devine par la richesse de cet excellent ouvrage, un investissement personnel, affectif comme cela se produit parfois, souvent, dans le jazz quand on produit un travail de cette qualité. Nul doute que la poésie, expression partagée par Henry Grimes et Barbara Frenz, y a joué un rôle déterminant. ... Un ouvrage qui raconte à sa façon le jazz depuis les années cinquante." (Yves Sportis, JAZZ HOT no. 673, Nov. 11 2015)
"Frenz’s portrait is of an enigmatic master, and it is a work of research and record that equals its subject. This is a book that opens the door to a body of work that is vital. Frenz remains in the background of this portrait, the events tell us what we need to know, she has laid out the map and removed the obstacles to our own path of discovery of Grimes's creativity. Take the trip." (Peter Urpeth, JAZZVIEWS.NET, published: Nov. 16 2015)
"Letztlich lässt sich anhand dieser musikalischen Biographie der kreative Weg von Henry Grimes nachvollziehen." (Thorsten Meyer, JAZZ PODIUM 65, Dec 2015 / Jan. 2016, p. 58)
"Barbara Frenz's biography of Grimes's life, art and hard times provides a thorough accounting of his heights and depths as a man and artist across ... decades of exile, exclusion and excelsior contribution. ... Frenz provides generous examples of Grimes writing which bear traces of his affections for Emily Dickinson and Amiri Baraka." (Greg Tate, THE WIRE, Feb. 2016, p. 75)
"Frenz has written a detailed, well-researched book littered with reviews and comments from Henry's contemporaries. It is a remarkable, true story..., a truth that is stranger than fiction." (Derek Ansell, JAZZ JOURNAL, Feb. 2016, p. 17/8)
"German historian Barbara Frenz’ lovingly penned biography wires an unbroken circuit between reader and subject. ... With this biography, Frenz has undone the misconception of Grimes as reticent ghost, arguing instead for his bold expressiveness while further emphasizing his versatility, go-with-the-flow attitude and inner growth. His past contributions are obvious, but, as Frenz is quick to point out, his importance to the future of jazz even more so." (Tyran Grillo, THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD, June 2016, p. 38)
"Jazz would be radically different if Grimes hadn't been a part of it. Just listen to the bootlegs from the 1963 tour with Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins, or his work with Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler. Check out The Call, the only album Grimes released as a leader [before 2003, BF]. The man was a revolutionary. ... If you're interested in the history of jazz, free jazz, creative music, whatever label you want to put on it, read this book, it is going to be an essential part of that history." (David Menestres, THE FREE JAZZ COLLECTIVE - REVIEWS OF FREE JAZZ AND IMPROVISED MUSIC, July 12 2016)
"Frenz writes with great respect for her subject, resulting in a substantial work with themes that extend beyond music history and scholarship." (Carlos Peña, ARSC Journal 47, no. 2, fall 2016, p. 231-232)