Alto saxophonist Dave “The Truth” Grippo has been one of the most frequent guests in Phishtory. He has provided accompaniment to such classic covers as “Satin Doll” and “Blue Bossa” (7/23/88), “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” (10/20/89), “Caravan” and “Donna Lee” (3/9/90). Grippo has also added his talents to many Phish classics, such as “Split Open and Melt” and “Harry Hood” (10/20/89), “Slave to the Traffic Light” and “You Enjoy Myself” (3/9/90), “AC/DC Bag” (5/12/91), “Suzy Greenberg” (4/4/94 and 10/31/96) and “Chalk Dust Torture” (3/18/97). He may be most famous, though, for his inspiring work on “Jesus Just Left Chicago” (see 11/23/91, 10/31/95 and 10/31/96).
Grippo’s career as a Phish guest has taken on several historical perspectives that are worth noting. He played with both the Giant Country Horns and the Cosmic Country Horns, serving as the bridge between their different styles. He has graced the stage for two Halloween shows, in 1995 and 1996. He assisted Page in recording the score to the movie Only in America. And, when Phish rocked The Late Show crowd with an inspiring “Julius” on David Letterman’s show on 7/13/95, Grippo was by their side.
Grippo is an accomplished musician, having received a degree from the University of Vermont in music education. He has put his degree to good use, teaching at Johnson State College in Vermont. Musically, Grippo has collaborated with Bruce Sklar in a Burlington-based jazz sextet, been a member of Michael Ray’s Cosmic Krewe since 1992, played in the Sneakers Jazz Band and the Vermont Jazz All-Stars with Trey and James Harvey (among others), led the Grippo Funk Band (Mike sat in on 5/17/99, Fish sat in on 10/23/00 and 12/1/00, and Page sat in on 8/19/02), and toured and recorded with Trey’s solo band.
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