Bobby Hutcherson - Ankara (1968)
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Joe Chambers during Sam Rivers’ Contours session, Englewood Cliffs NJ, May 21 1965 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Sam Rivers - Point of Many Returns (1965)
This cut absolutely simmers thanks to the impeccable musicianship on hand [Hubbard, Hancock, Carter, Chambers!], but it is Rivers’ angular writing—which maintains a deep driving pulse even as it wanders astray—and his transcendent soprano solo that steal the show.
Thank you, Sam Rivers.
McCoy Tyner - Lee Plus Three (1967)
It’s rare to find Lee Morgan in a quartet. Other than Morgan’s 1957 Candy session with Sonny Clark, Doug Watkins and Art Taylor, this is the only cut I can find where he fronts a rhythm section. Except for this track, Tender Moments is recorded with a nonet. As usual, McCoy and Morgan cook well together.
Bobby Hutcherson - Components (1965)
More literal and figurative hard bop vibes from Bobby Hutcherson. Herbie Hancock and Joe Chambers are at it again, joined by a front line of James Spaulding and Freddie Hubbard. Ron Carter is on the bass, yes my man Ron Carter is on the bass.
Joe Chambers plays during the recording session for Andrew Hill’s album, Andrew!!! — Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, June 25, 1964 (photo by Francis Wolff)
Bobby Hutcherson - Rojo (1966)
This gorgeous album is mostly Hutcherson’s own compositions, bar a version of Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock, who appears on all the tracks with the in-demand bassist Bob Cranshaw, and Hutcherson’s favorite mid-60’s collaborator, drummer Joe Chambers. Top shelf.
Bobby Hutcherson - Effi (1968)
Another hard-to-find Bobby Hutcherson LP recorded in 1968 that languished on the Blue Note shelves until 1980. The playing here is hot and heavy, with some great flute work from James Spaulding, beautiful piano from Stanley Cowell—who wrote this cut—and sterling drum work from Joe Chambers, who contributed four compositions to the LP.
Bobby Hutcherson - Avis (1969)
Thoroughly sophisticated playing, a brilliant ensemble cast, strikingly original compositions, plenty of swing to burn. Even with all the above, this recording sat in the Blue Note vaults for 10 years before being released due to the popular rock & roll winds blowing at the time.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see the error of this decision, as this is definitely one of Hutcherson’s finest moments from the late 60s.
Joe Henderson - Free Wheelin’ (1966)
Dig the bass line, the coalescence of virtuosity, the Lee Morgan riffs, the magisterial hard-bopping melody with swing to burn.
Wayne Shorter - Footprints (1966)
Before appearing famously on Miles Smiles, this “all-time great jazz composition” was introduced in an intimate quartet setting, where Shorter’s playing is spurred along by the almost clairvoyant comping of Herbie Hancock. Quintessential beats.
Joe Henderson - Mode for Joe (1966)
Henderson’s last LP for Blue Note gathered a phenomenal septet. This beautiful, lilting composition by Cedar Walton acts as the album’s centerpiece, around which one can experience the considerable individuality that Henderson brought to his art: the vocal wails, the incendiary blues runs, the effortless sense of swing. More Mode for Joe here.