Grant Green - Matador (1964)
Great Grant Green solos, take 4
As with the previous post featuring Joe Henderson, the presence of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones—two thirds of Coltrane’s legendary rhythm section—fires up the proceedings with virtuosic spice, laying down plenty of track for Green to zoom.
Joe Henderson - Punjab (1964)
It has been near impossible to chase this melody out of the perpetual radio station that is my brain. Another reviewer agrees:
“[I]t’s a melody that’s hard to shake once it gets inside of you. “Punjab” succeeds in making the complex simple to digest.”
As Miles would likely say, “this is a motherfucker.”
Ike Quebec at Dodo Greene’s My Hour of Need session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, April 2 1962 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Horace Parlan - Back From The Gig (1963)
Another unreleased gem.
Freddie Hubbard - Philly Mignon (1962)
Third and final post from this session, and maybe the most awe-inspiring, because Philly Joe Jones puts on a clinic. As one critic writes,
While Hubbard recorded with drummer Philly Joe Jones on a number of sessions, I think their chemistry was never as intensely pitched as on this session, particularly on the opening “Philly Mignon,” written by Hubbard for the fiery drummer. This is one of Philly Joe Jones’ supreme moments in the studio, and this CD deserves top-drawer billing for that alone. If you listened to “Body and Soul” first, then skip to “Philly Mignon,” where you’ll drop the cliche of the young Hubbard as all brassy confidence with brio to the brim, and instead hear a mature musical intelligence at work that is as questioning and questing, as conflicted as Lee Morgan’s.
The hardest of bops.
Freddie Hubbard - Father and Son (1962)
This cut is part of an ongoing exploration of unreleased gems from the Blue Note catalog. This session definitely ranks among the very best that Alfred Lion decided against releasing in its time. Heard now, it stands above many of the sessions that did see release in their time. I would love to find out why this one never did.
Dexter Gordon - (It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along (1962)
Happy Sunday y’all. Both on the record GO and on this LP—recorded just two days apart—the musicianship and interplay continue to astonish. It’s hard not to consider these recordings something of a miracle of alchemy: when you get the right musicians, the right producer and engineer, the right time, and the right tunes…well, this is what you can get.
Grant Green - Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying (1963)
Great Grant Green solos, take 3
Count this LP among the many belatedly released titles from the Blue Note catalog worthy of more attention. This unreleased gem of a session is much sought after, probably because of the very fine vintage of playing throughout from these three musicians. Aces.
Bobby Hutcherson - Ankara (1968)
Moody flutes dot com
Freddie Hubbard - Body and Soul (1962)
“Philly Joe Jones and the Jazz Messengers,” ladies and gentlemen. Don’t miss Freddie Hubbard’s now-legendary interpretation of this jazz standard.
Grant Green - Miss Ann’s Tempo (1961)
Great Grant Green solos, take 2
“Baby Face” Willette recorded for a red-hot minute for Blue Note, but he was on fire at every session he recorded, and he definitely shared an incendiary connection with Grant Green, whose bluesy prestidigitation here is awe-inspiring.
Donald Byrd - Chant (1961)
A more famous vocal version of this song was recorded for Byrd’s groundbreaking A New Perspective, but in this straight-ahead quintet format, Byrd’s sparkling trumpet takes center stage. This recording is also an opportunity to appreciate the legendary hard bop symmetry of Byrd and Pepper Adams, who were into their fourth year of leading a quintet.
Donald Byrd - You’re Next (1961)
I’ve been scouring the “other side” of the Blue Note catalog to find and play the undeservedly obscure, sadly overlooked, criminally underplayed sessions that deserve to be aired out, dusted off, and administered some sonic CPR for a new generation of listeners.
So this session deserves a little light after years of mummification. It is salient for a few reasons, not least of which is that this cut will stick in your craw with its delightfully swinging minor-blues melody.
As far as I can tell, this was pianist Herbie Hancock’s first recording session, a full five months before his first “official” appearance on Byrd’s Royal Flush, which was released at the time it was recorded. This session was not, but it’s equally worthy. It’s obvious Alfred Lion felt he had enough material from Byrd and Pepper Adams together (think Off To The Races, The Cat Walk, Byrd In Hand, Royal Flush, Live At The Half Note) to leave this one in the vaults. Lucky for us, he still recorded it.
John Patton - Latona (1965)
Good gravy, this one’s a burner. John Patton builds a fire with his undulating organ-tronics, coaxing Grant Green and Bobby Hutcherson into memorable solos.
Blue Mitchell - Samba De Stacy (1965)
Currently on repeat on the car stereo, this lilting bossa nova is reminiscent of Dexter Gordon’s Manha De Carnaval and recalls elements of Lee Morgan’s Ceora, but what’s special here is listening to a quintet that spent much of the intervening year between their 1964 The Thing To Do session and this recording becoming an absolutely airtight unit. Phyl Garland’s liner notes quote Mitchell:
“We’re more together,” he readily comments, “and have a stronger sense of unity in performance.”
Much of this has come about as a result of the experience they’ve gained in polishing their numbers before audiences at Minton’s in Manhattan, Lennie’s on the Turnpike in Boston, the Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh, and other standard jazz houses. So, it is, that everything on this disc is tried, tested, and certain to satisfy. Furthermore, the material is rich in melody, rhythm, and imagination.”