Track Selection: “Lazy Afternoon”
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone) Larry Young (organ) Grant Green (guitar) Elvin Jones (drums)Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 16, 1964
Grant Green’s clean linear guitar solo lines set against the complementary textures of soulful organ (Larry Young) and spacey vibraphone (Bobby Hutcherson) while underneath, the restless energy of Elvin Jones on drums. These soft-tones weave together on “Lazy Afternoon” , which gets another Green outing, minus Joe Henderson’s tenor. Reworked into a 5/4 groove, the theme is given a trance-like elongated reading.
Inevitably in the shadow of of Green’s masterwork as leader, “Idle Moments” (BN 4151) which was recorded the previous year, Larry Young manages to give the record a fresh soulful bounce without ever becoming overpowering. Other Green/Young/Jones trio sessions co-opted brass to give it more bite – Hank Mobley on I want to Hold Hour Hand (4202) and Sam Rivers on Into Somethin’ (4187) , whilst Street of Dreams enjoys the calming presence of Bobby Hutcherson. The exception among later releases from Green is possibly Goin’ West (4310), a hat tip to Sonny Rollins, recorded a long time earlier, in 1962.
Green’s work became progressivley less and less interesting as the 70’s approached, and this is probably among the last of the litter, before “doin’ the funky chicken” took hold. Still, one to savour.
Recorded in 1964, the allocated Blue Note catalogue number of 4253 brought the release into the hands of Liberty Records after 1966. This original first press in Mono is on “Division of Liberty” labels, so no run out “ear”, but a machine-stamp VAN GELDER confirms Rudy Van Gelder mastering. Stereo copies were also released.
NY labels were never printed to prepare for its release so the record is seen only on Liberty labels, meaning less-knowledgeable dealers mark the price down assuming it to be a Liberty re-issue.
This copy came from a London record store, who had it on the wall for a pretty reasonable £30. I came, I saw, I purchased. (an LJC motto) With all these things there is only one collecting rule: see it, buy it, you never know if you will ever see it again. For every time you do see it again there are a dozen times you don’t. You will rarely regret your indulgences, but will often regret your economies, a version of which I recall reading while passing the time in a luxury goods boutique in Rome’s Fumicino airport. “The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”. I just remember everything being very very expensive.
The joys of Sellotape! The clear sticky tape, which bound the edges of many records in the Sixties, was never bought, but was found in every home courtesy of the office stationery cupboard. Fifty years later it has all but lost its grip, but still leaves its yellow residue around the border of covers. (If you are feeling brave, WD40 will do a passable job of wiping it away from laminated covers without dissolving the cover printing ink. Otherwise, leave well alone)
Arguments still rage in the collector community whether stickers, decals and markings are part of the historical artefact and so should be left in place, or removed in an attempt to restore the record to its original new state. My advice is leave it alone unless it bothers you.