Marty Grosz: It's a Sin to Tell a Lie: My Life in Jazz

Marty Grosz: It's a Sin to Tell a Lie: My Life in Jazz

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Overview

It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie: My Life in Jazz is the autobiography of Marty Grosz, today's foremost jazz rhythm guitarist and chord soloist. Part memoir, part transcribed oral history, it serves up Marty's story raconteur style – full of sardonic wit with a touch of vaudeville.

Marty has many stories to tell. In a career spanning over 70 years, he has performed with jazz greats such as Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Ruby Braff, Dick Hyman, Leroy “Slam” Stewart, Bob Haggart, George Duvivier, Bob Wilber, and Kenny Davern. Beginning in the 1950s, he became a prominent figure of Chicago’s jazz club scene and toured with the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Soprano Summit, The Classic Jazz Quartet, and the Orphan Newsboys.

Marty's lengthy discography ranges from a 1951 recording with veteran New Orleans’ bassist “Pops” Foster to his 2015 CD with The Fat Babies.

From his early years in Berlin, to growing up in America with his famous father, German expressionist George Grosz, It's a Sin to Tell a Lie tells Marty's story of his life in jazz in his own candid and entertaining style.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733305532
Publisher: Golden Alley Press
Publication date: 03/04/2020
Series: Jazz Story Club , #1
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Marty Grosz is today's foremost jazz rhythm guitarist and chord soloist.

The son of celebrated German expressionist George Grosz, Marty was born in Berlin in 1930 and came to the United States at age three. He is considered among the best acoustic jazz guitarists of the twentieth century.

Marty has performed with a staggering number of jazz greats, including Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Charlie Byrd, Ruby Braff, Dick Hyman, Milt Hinton, Leroy "Slam" Stewart, Bob Haggart, George Duvivier, Bob Wilbur, and Kenny Davern. His lengthy discography ranges from a 1951 recording with veteran New Orleans' bassist "Pops" Foster to his 2015 CD with The Fat Babies.

With a consistent sound rooted in the tradition of jazz masters of 1920s and '30s, Marty champions the cause of the acoustic guitar. In performance, he plays driving rhythm and chord-style solos on an unamplified Gibson L-5 archtop guitar.

Marty's monologues, served with sardonic wit and a touch of vaudeville, have marked him as one of jazz music's great comedians. He is also a fine jazz singer, always delivering with perfect jazz phrasing.

Eddie Condon, Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong are some of Marty's heroes. Following a young man's dream, he hitchhiked to Chicago from New York City in the 1950s and became a prominent figure of Chicago's jazz club scene for several decades. He toured extensively with the New York Jazz Repertory Orchestra under the direction of Dick Hyman. Grosz's acoustic guitar and "Fats Waller" style of singing were featured heavily in groups such as Bob Wilbur's Soprano Summit, The Classic Jazz Quartet, and the Orphan Newsboys. Having recorded scores of albums both as sideman and leader, Marty's lengthy discography ranges from a 1951 recording with veteran New Orleans' bassist "Pops" Foster to his 2015 CD with The Fat Babies.

Marty has played everywhere from the White House to Carnegie Hall and has been a featured guest on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, NBC's Today Show, and New York City's 92nd Street Y. He lives and works in Philadelphia.

JOE PLOWMAN is a musician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a Master of Music degree from Temple University, he tours nationally and internationally and holds the bass chair in many Philadelphia area bands. He is the editor for the Jazz Story Club series of jazz biographies published by Golden Alley Press.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Joe Plowman

Part I: My Life in Jazz


  1. Berlin Beginnings
  2. New York to Berlin and Back
  3. American Life
  4. Swing
  5. First Guitar
  6. Prep School
  7. Youthful Optimism
  8. West to Chicago
  9. The Victory Club
  10. Pfc. Grosz
  11. Egghead Days
  12. Gaslight Club
  13. Eddie Condon
  14. Chet Baker
  15. The Village Stompers: Road Version
  16. Gaslight to Velvet Swing
  17. Toronto
  18. Wit's End
  19. Soprano Summit
  20. Jazz Parties
  21. Nice Jazz Festival
  22. Adventures in South Africa
  23. Eisbein mit Sauerkraut
  24. Windows on the World
  25. Classic Jazz Quartet
  26. The Orphan Newsboys
  27. Akira Tsumura and his Banjo Collection
  28. My Guitars


Part II: The Interviews



  1. On Guitar Tuning
  2. On Finding the Right Notes
  3. Eddie Condon
  4. Drummers and Bassists
  5. Slam Stewart
  6. Mingus and the Soup
  7. Bunk Johnson
  8. George Duvivier and Connie Kay
  9. Chet Baker at Nice
  10. Hoagy Carmichael and Wad Allen
  11. Herb Ellis & the Great Guitars

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