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4 Decades and not skipping a beat

from Newark Star Ledger, 10-25-05

By Zan Stewart, Star Ledger Staff

Oliphant, who has performed with such jazz royalty as Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday and Ahmad Jamal, brought along a dynamic threesome.

Grassella Oliphant makes his drums snap, crackle, pop.

In that respect, the 76-year-old is like several other drummers in his age range - say, ex-Miles Davis trapsman JimmyCobb, 76, or Irvington's Joe Morello, 77, famed for his years with Dave Brubeck. He plays with the fire and drive of a much younger man.

One reason for this could be that Oliphant, who's lived in East Orange since the mid-'60s, took a four-decade hiatus from his instrument to raise a family. He manages the East Orange Golf Course in Short HIlls, and only returned to active playing about a year and a half ago.

As he said Saturday at Cecil's azz Club in West Orange, during a break at the matinee show where he's featured each week, "Playing feels sl freakin' good. I'm up there, trying to play everything I thought about playing over the last 40 years."

Copyright 2018, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. taun. (2009, June 10). 4 Decades and not skipping a beat. Retrieved June 16, 2019, from Grassella Oliphant Web site: All Rights Reserved.