Don Grolnick

Don Grolnick (September 23, 1947 – June 1, 1996) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and record producer. He was a member of the groups Steps Ahead and Dreams, both with Michael Brecker, and played often with the Brecker Brothers. As a session musician, he recorded with John Scofield, Billy Cobham, Roberta Flack, Harry Chapin, Dave Holland, Bette Midler, Marcus Miller, Bob Mintzer, Linda Ronstadt, David Sanborn, Carly Simon, J. D. Souther, Steely Dan, and James Taylor.[1]


Grolnick was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Levittown, New York. He began his musical life on accordion but later switched to piano. His interest in jazz began as a child when his father took him to a Count Basie concert, and soon after they also saw Erroll Garner perform at Carnegie Hall. He attended Tufts University with a major in philosophy.

After he left Tufts, he formed the jazz-rock band Fire & Ice with Ken Melville on guitar and Stuart Schulman, his friend since childhood, on bass guitar. They were the opening act for B.B. King, The Jeff Beck Group, and the Velvet Underground at Boston clubs like the Boston Tea Party and The Ark. This was Grolnick's first foray into rock and blues as a performer, and he began to write within the medium as well. Grolnick moved back to New York in 1969 and joined Melville in the jazz fusion band "D". He toured with Linda Ronstadt in 1977.

Grolnick died at the age of 48 on June 1, 1996 from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


As leader/co-leaderEdit

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1986 Hearts and Numbers Windham Hill With Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Jeff Mironov, Hiram Bullock and Bob Mann (guitar), Will Lee, Marcus Miller and Tom Kennedy (bass), Peter Erskine and Steve Jordan (drums)
1990 Weaver of Dreams Blue Note Septet, with Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, Barry Rogers
1992 Nighttown Blue Note With Randy Brecker (trumpet), Steve Turre (trombone), Joe Lovano (tenor sax), Marty Ehrlich (bass clarinet), Dave Holland (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)
1995? Medianoche Warner Bros. With Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Dave Valentin (flute), Mike Mainieri (vibes), Andy Gonzalez (bass), Don Alias, Steve Berrios and Milton Cardona (percussion)
1995 London Concert Fuzzy Music With Randy Brecker (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Marty Ehrlich (alto sax, bass clarinet), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), Peter Washington (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Don Alias (percussion); in concert


With Brecker Brothers

With Dreams

  • 1971 Imagine My Surprise

With Steps Ahead

  • 1982 Smokin' in the Pit

As sidemanEdit

With Gato Barbieri

  • 1976 Caliente!
  • 1978 Ruby, Ruby
  • 1988 Passion and Fire

With Joe Beck

With George Benson

With Ron Carter

With Peter Erskine

  • 1982 Peter Erskine
  • 1986 Transition

With Steve Khan

  • 1977 Tightrope
  • 1978 The Blue Man
  • 1979 Arrows

With Melissa Manchester

With The Manhattan Transfer

With Bob Mintzer

  • 1982 Source
  • 1983 Papa Lips
  • 1985 Incredible Journey
  • 1988 Spectrum
  • 1989 Urban Contours

With Esther Phillips

  • 1975 Esther Phillips and Joe Beck
  • 1975 What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
  • 1976 Capricorn Princess
  • 1976 For All We Know

With Bonnie Raitt

With Linda Ronstadt

With David Sanborn

With John Scofield

With Don Sebesky

With Carly Simon

With Steely Dan

With James Taylor

With John Tropea

  • 1975 Tropea
  • 1977 Short Trip to Space
  • 1979 To Touch You Again
  • 1991 NYC Cats Direct

With others


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Don Grolnick". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  2. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1996). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (3rd ed.). Penguin. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-14-051368-4.
  3. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 610. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  4. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Don Grolnick – Weaver of Dreams". AllMusic. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Don Grolnick | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 May 2017.

External linksEdit