Grant Green: Street of Dreams (1964) Liberty

 

 

4253-grantgreen-street-of-dreams-cover-1600_LJC

Track Selection: “Lazy Afternoon”

Artists:

Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone) Larry Young (organ) Grant Green (guitar) Elvin Jones (drums)Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 16, 1964

Music

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.

Vinyl

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.

 

 

4253-grantgreen-street-of-dreams-rearcover-1600_LJC

Collectors Notes

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.

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20 thoughts on “Grant Green: Street of Dreams (1964) Liberty

  1. LJC – and anyone else – a question on this one. I’ve just pulled my copy of this record out for a play and the pressing is very strange. The sleeve, label and inner all suggest that it is a first Liberty press and it probably is, but the edge of the vinyl flat with serrations. For our UK readers a little like the edge of a one pound coin. Are they all like this, is this a common thing on this era of BN pressing (and I haven’t noticed)? Thoughts please?

    Dean

      • Hi LJC
        Thanks for this prompt reply – very interesting and an odd variation.
        Apologies for the tardiness in my reply – I tried to post twice and it didn’t take, so I stormed off in a huff – I’ve worked out and rectified the problem so all smiles again!
        Dean

    • I’ve just acquired a nice NM/NM stereo Liberty pressing (all the hallmarks of being a first pressing) and it too has this serrated edge. I’ve got one or two other Liberty Blue Note pressings with the same feature. From memory, my copy of Lou Donaldson’s Good Gracious is one.

      On a slightly different topic, LJC: how come you haven’t featured any of Bobby Hutcherson’s LPs as leader? He appears as sideman on several records you’ve discussed but seemed sadly overlooked here in his own right. Did he spill your beer one night at The Flamingo and you’ve never forgiven him? 🙂

        • Oh, difficult choice because they’re almost all so good. It depends if you want to compare notes or not. I have originals of Stick Up!, Components and Total Eclipse. I would be interested if you have the King pressings of Oblique or Spiral though.

    • I have this record, original , Liberty , but mine has a 2 stamp on it that says audition copy . Not sure if this makes much of a difference, but great album, great sound.

  2. found an excellent copy of the stereo bst 84253 version of this at a Munich flea market for 20 cents…I asked the vendor, why he is selling his records so cheap, he answered: “because they are old”.

  3. Like I said, it was only a bitsy bit of critique; you can’t expect everyone to lIke Grant’s later work. But if Cook and Morton’s Penguin guide is enthusiastic, well, then you just know it’s got to be good 😉

  4. I should qualify Matty, less interesting (to me) – I am sure there are many who continued to find his work interesting!
    I don’t know “Alive” but I do have some later work – “Geen is Beautiful” 4342 and “Carryin’ On” 4327. The Beautiful one is quite well regarded in funky circles I believe. I’ll have to dig it out and see if I have been too harsh on the lad. Alive! gets a very good write up from Cook and Morton.
    OK Grant, you have won a stay of execution!

  5. One itsy bitsy tiny bit of critique on this quote: “Green’s work became progressivley less and less interesting as the 70′s approached…” ‘Less interesting’ is maybe a bit too harsh. During my funk collecting years, I came across quite a lot of Green’s seventies Blue Note output and I agree that you can’t compare that work to his earlier 100% jazz albums, ’cause Grant ‘had gone funk’ and his output aimed more and more for the dance floors. Up to this day many jazz/funk DJs (like me, although occasionally) still play those recordings ’cause they’re so incredibly danceable 😉 -If I can leave y’all with one superb suggestion to get to know Green’s funky stuff, then make sure to lay hands on this fabulous live album: Grant Green Alive! (Newark, 1970 – 15/8 at the Cliché Lounge). Grant probably turned in his grave when he saw that ‘less interesting’ remark! 😀

  6. Very nice find! I don’t have this one, but am a huge Grant Green fan. I have none of his original LP’s–still in CD land with him. I’m going to start looking around a little harder for Liberty issues and Japanese pressings because I’d like to have nice vinyl copies of these releases.

    • http://www.wd40.com/products/no-mess-pen/

      This product is near-miraculous. Originally used to oil hinges and locks, it has been discovered it will remove the adhesive of sticky labels as found in price stickers and similar on records, without leaving any traces of glue or itself. . Methylated spirits and other conventional cleaners generally lift printing ink and ruin covers.I can thoroughly recommend WD40 for this, though I don’t think the miracle extends to restoring limbs or human tissue. For this it is still necessary to make pilgrimages to Lourdes.

  7. Excellent record, Japan only for a while as I recall. If I had to take only one Green record, or indeed any artist, to my desert island, it’s “Idle Moments”. More on that story later, as they say.

  8. Took me a while to get into Green, I don’t readily associate the guitar with the kind of jazz I normally like, but everyone needs at least one or two of his Blue Note albums in their collection. I can recommend ‘Matador’ from 1964.

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