Tom Grant, who has impressive technique and a likable style, has spent most of his recording career making music that purposely appeals to a wide crossover audience, combining jazz with pop and R&B. His father was a tap dancer who owned a record store and his older brother Mike played piano. When he was four, Grant began playing piano and drums. He graduated from the University of Oregon and then went to New York with Jim Pepper's Pow Wow band. He earned a masters degree in education and was teaching high-school social studies in Portland when Woody Shaw heard him playing at a weekend after-hours gig. Shaw offered Grant a job with his group and the experience soon led to more extensive work with Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Charles Lloyd, and Tony Williams (1979-1981). Grant cut his first solo record in 1976 for Timeless and in 1979 he formed his own band, which was open to the pop music that the keyboardist loved. Starting in 1983 and continuing into the new millennium, Grant has recorded a lengthy series of poppish jazz-influenced dates (for labels including Chase, Verve Forecast, Shanachie, Double Play, and Nu-Wrinkle) that have variously fallen into the categories of new adult contemporary, quiet storm, contemporary jazz, and smooth jazz; all have been best-sellers in the jazz-lite market. In addition, Tom Grant has composed music for TV and radio. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi