Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Mosaics are coming! Bobby Hutcherson and Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill Solo and Bobby Hutcherson 70's material new sets from Blue Note/Mosaic

Well after much debate (like 10 minutes and an excellent 2:1 $/£ exchange rate) I have ordered the new Andrew Hill solo Mosaic Select as well as the Bobby Hutcherson. One ( the Hill) is completely new to me and undiscovered. Hardly a risk as I have a great deal of Andrew Hill material both from the 60's and more recently.

The Andrew Hill set I have to say intrigued me as it from an era of his work I am not familiar with and in a solo setting as well. Here are the details from the Mosaic Records website. I will review as and when they have worn out my stereo!

When Blue Note released Andrew Hill's label debut Black Fire in March 1964, the jazz community immediately recognized a fresh new voice as bold and distinctive as Thelonious Monk or Herbie Nichols. For the next six years, Hill applied his singular compositional skills to a variety of settings from trio to nonet, even incorporating quartets with string quartets and quintets with six-voice choirs.

So much of Andrew's prime Blue Note recordings had depended on and been written for the interaction of empathetic improvisers, that his first solo recordings Hommage and Live At Montreux, both from 1975, came as a surprise to even his most die-hard fans. Those experiences whetted his appetite for more.

Living in a small Bay Area bedroom community, he began playing a lot of solo concerts at Arts Centers up and down the West Coast. In August and October 1978, he made three trips to the Fantasy Recording Studio in Berkeley for lengthy solo piano sessions. Two extended pieces were issued on the Artists House LP From California With Love. That album quickly became a collector's item when the label folded. Meanwhile over two hours of solo piano music by Andrew remained in the can until Mosaic discovered the session tapes in Hawaii. Now the complete sessions are gathered in this Select.

Hearing a great pianist/composer in solo setting is like eavesdropping on the thought processes of a restless, creative mind. Unfettered by other instruments and input, the artist is free to go wherever his inner logic and imagination take him. Like Thelonious Monk and Randy Weston among others, Andrew Hill's most revealing and fascinating creations are often those made alone at a piano.

Mosaic Select: Andrew Hill-Solo (MS-023)
1. Moonlit Monterey 16:00
2. 17 Mile Drive 12:20
3. Gone With The Wind 6:04
(A. Wrubel-H. Magidson)
4. I Remember Clifford 4:28
(Benny Golson)
5. Moonlit Monterey (alt take) 9:00

1. California Tinge 11:43
2. Napa Valley Twilight 10:10
3. Above Big Sur 15:58
4. An Afternoon In Berkeley 12:12
5. California Tinge (first version) 24:35

1. From California With Love 20:00
2. Reverend Du Bop 18:39
3. Pastoral Pittsburg 10:57
4. Pittsburg Impasse 5:52

All compositions by Andrew Hill unless otherwise noted.

Produced by Ed Michel

Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California on August 30 (disc one), October 2 (disc two) and October 12 (disc three), 1978
Recording engineer: Steve Williams
Recorded on a Yamaha Concert Grand piano using two Neumann U-47 microphones.

Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna
Transferred and mastered in 24-bit by Malcolm Addey

NOTE: "From California With Love" and "Reverend Du Bop" were originally issued on Artist House AH9 in 1979. The master tape for those performances has since been lost and they were transferred from LP for this set. All other selections are previously unreleased and were transferred from the original session tapes.

Masters appear under license from Andrew Hill

The Bobby Hutcherson is much more familiar to me as I used to have all of the material on vinyl and picked up a cd rom of the super rare INNER GLOW a few years ago. All of the Hutcherson are from the 70's which traditionally get ignored however I found all of the sets really powerful records by Hutcherson and as valuable in my collection to me as Dialogue and San Francisco. The LPs in this set are by and large not well known outside of Blue Note collectors but their inclusion is a rare treat and means more cd roms can hit the bin for a decent retail copy with better mastering etc.

The details of the Hutcherson set are as follows and have been directly lifted from the Mosaic Records website:

Bobby Hutcherson, one of the greatest vibists in jazz, had been a member of the Blue Note family since 1963 and he was one of the last artists to leave the label before it shut down in 1980. The '70s was a rough decade for pure jazz; funk and fusion had taken over the jazz market. The five albums in this collection, recorded between 1974 and 1977, were among the overlooked victims of that era. Each is a straight-ahead, small-group studio session and each contains a superb cast and excellent, varied compositions.

Cirrus features Bobby's working band of Woody Shaw, Bill Henderson, Ray Drummond and Larry Hancock with the saxophones of Harold Land and Manny Boyd added. It includes the first recording of Shaw's jazz standard Rosewood. Inner Glow, not released until 5 years later and even then only in Japan, features a three-horn front line with Harold Land, Oscar Brashear and Thurman Green.

Waiting, The View From The Inside and Knucklebean, all among Bobby's best work, revolve around his working band of the time: saxophonist Manny Boyd, bassist James Leary and drummer Eddie Marshall. George Cables or Larry Nash complete the group on piano and Freddie Hubbard is added as guest on Knucklebean. This band had developed an extraordinary empathy during its time and the musicians execute the exceptional material, most from Hutcherson and Leary, with ease, invention and enthusiasm. Added to the Waiting album is a tune from the session that was previously only issued on a Dutch compilation in 1979.

These superb albums received shockingly little notice and quickly sank from sight. As a result of their obscurity, they have not been issued on LP or CD until now.

Mosaic Select: Bobby Hutcherson (MS-026)

1. Rosewood (A) 7:38
(Woody Shaw)
2. Even Later (A) 8:55
(Bobby Hutcherson)
3. Wrong Or Right (A) 7:24
(Bobby Hutcherson)
4. Zuri Dance (A) 8:23
(Bobby Hutcherson)
5. Cirrus (A) 7:16
(Bobby Hutcherson)
6. Cowboy Bob (B) 9:30
(Bobby Hutcherson)
7. Searchin' The Trane (B) 8:02
(Bobby Hutcherson)
8. Inner Glow (B) 7:56
(George Cables)
9. Roses Poses (B) 7:19
(Bobby Hutcherson)

1. Boodaa (B) 10:05
(Bobby Hutcherson)
2. Waiting (C) 7:05
(James Leary III)
3. Prime Thought (C) 7:12
(James Leary III)
4. Roses Poses (C) 6:27
(Bobby Hutcherson)
5. Don't Be Afraid (To Fall In Love Again) (C) 7:13
(James Leary III)
6. Searchin' The Trane (C) 9:33
(Bobby Hutcherson)
7. Hangin' Out (With You) (C) 4:22
(James Leary III)
8. Convergence (Coming In Again) (C) 5:15
(James Leary III)
9. Later, Even (D) 3:49
(Bobby Hutcherson)
10. Houston St., Thursday Afternoon (D) 6:29
(Bobby Hutcherson)

1. Same, Shame (D) 10:20
(Bobby Hutcherson)
2. Love Can Be Many Things (D) 4:47
(James Leary III)
3. Song For Annie (D) 6:27
(Manny Boyd)
4. Laugh, Laugh Again (D) 4:16
(James Leary III)
5. For Heaven's Sake (D) 6:34
6. Why Not (E) 5:23
(George Cables)
7. Sundance Knows (E) 6:36
(Eddie Marshall)
8. So Far, So Good (E) 4:40
(James Leary III)
9. Little B's Poem (E) 4:43
(Bobby Hutcherson)
10. 'Til Then (E) 4:06
(Bobby Hutcherson)
11. Knucklebean (E) 7:15
(Eddie Marshall)

(A) Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, marimba; Woody Shaw, trumpet; Harold Land & Manny Boyd, tenor sax, flute; Bill Henderson, piano, electric piano; Ray Drummond, bass; Larry Hancock, drums; Kenneth Nash, percussion.
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, Los Angeles on April 17 & 18. 1974.
Recording engineer: Ed Barton
Produced by George Butler
Originally issued as CIRRUS (Blue Note BNLA257)

(B) Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, marimba; Oscar Brashear, trumpet; Thurman Green, trombone; Harold Land, tenor sax; Dwight Dickerson, piano: Kent Brinkley, bass; Larry Hancock, drums.
Recorded at United Artists Recording Studios, Los Angeles on March 24 & 25, 1975
Recording engineer: Bert D'Angelo
Produced by Bobby Hutcherson
Originally issued as INNER GLOW (Blue Note (Japan) GXF-3073)

(C) Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, marimba; Manny Boyd, soprano sax; tenor sax; George Cables, piano; James Leary III, bass; Eddie Marshall, drums; Kenneth Nash, percussion.
On "Waiting," Manny Boyd, Hadley Caliman and Mguanda Dave Johnson, flutes are added.
Recorded at Different Fur Music Studios, San Francisco on February 24-26, 1976
Recording engineer: Neil Schwartz
Mixing engineer: Hank Cicalo.
Produced by Dale Oehler
"Convergence" originally issued on FORTY YEARS OF JAZZ - HISTORY OF BLUE NOTE, BOX 5 (Blue Note (Holland) 1A158-83401/4)
All other titles originally issued on WAITING (Blue Note BNLA615)

(D) Bobby Hutcherson, vibes; Manny Boyd, soprano sax, tenor sax; Larry Nash, piano, electric piano; James Leary III, bass; Eddie Marshall, drums.
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco on August 4-6, 1976
Recording engineer: Norm Kinney
Mixing engineer: Hank Cicalo.
Produced by Dale Oehler
Originally issued as THE VIEW FROM THE INSIDE (Blue Note BNLA710)

(E) Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, marimba; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Manny Boyd, soprano sax, tenor sax, flute; Hadley Caliman, tenor sax, flute; George Cables, piano, electric piano; James Leary III, bass; Eddie Marshall, drums.
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco on March 1-3, 1977
Recording and mixing engineer: Hank Cicalo.
Produced by Dale Oehler
Originally issued as KNUCKLEBEAN (Blue Note BNLA789)

Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna
Mastered in 24 bit by Ron McMaster