Grant Green “Idle Moments” (1963)


Track Selection: “Idle Moments”

Caution, long (14:40), one early needle stick at 45 seconds requiring manual intervention, gives a repeat of two turns, some early clicks and a little surface noise early which quickly settles down and the remaining 13 minutes are thankfully uneventful, except musically, which are exceptional.


Joe Henderson (ts) Bobby Hutcherson (vib) Duke Pearson (p) Grant Green (g) Bob Cranshaw (b) Al Harewood (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 4th and 15th, 1963


Personally, my one desert island disk, fourteen minutes suspended in time. An extraordinary shared musical experience captured on disc as each musician in turn  takes inspiration from the others and is swept to greater heights..Green’s simple linear tune is but the gateway to what is to unfold. Henderson enters unexpectedly at around the eighth minute with his chocolate-rich tone, the right speaker bursts into life,  an emotional probing solo. Hutcherson will take you floating in space among twinkling stars.  Pearson holds down the melody until his solo opens up a  huge landscape of rolling hills and valleys with rippling streams of notes.  Eventually it all returns gently to earth. Space travel, 1963.

Other tracks include the almost equally magical MJQ composition “Django”, which has been covered countless times but is sprinkled with the same fairy dust as others in this remarkable recording session.

Vinyl: Blue Note BNST 84154 stereo

I have tried everything from a Scorpio to an  2x45rpm Analogue Productions/  Music Matters audiophile remastered from original tapes, CDs, but nothing matches the original Blue Note, faults and all. So I persevere with it, get up and move on the needle stick, and tolerate the early clicks and pops. Hopefully you will be able to handle it.

Liner Notes Updated November 8, 2015 to LJC Supersharp Text™


Collectors Corner

Cruelly rare, and viciously fought over on US eBay. Expensive, considering its imperfections.

It is often the case that the most damage is done in the first minute of side one, which as you might expect experiences the most needle drops and jogs. Bless the Japanese and their lightweight record arms! Hopefully you will have been able to tolerate the brief faults.  It’s vinyl!  And one very difficult to find – you can’t take it back to exchange for another one, so sadly it is a compromise, one day to be replaced by an EX copy. Until then, I have this one. I hesitated whether to post this record because of the skip, but I don’t see why you shouldn’t suffer once like us collectors.

12 thoughts on “Grant Green “Idle Moments” (1963)

  1. For those of us who will never own a first stamper of this legendary album, I’m wondering which is the best reissue? The 45RPM Analogue Productions LP set seems to be panned by many as surprisingly poorly pressed and not at all dynamic, which is 100% the opposite to early responses to its remastered tapes which were hailed as incredibly realistic. I listened yesterday to the Music Matters 33RPM LP and was impressed by the sound, but I had never heard the album before so I have nothing to compare to.

    • I have just one Music Matters 33 and but I admit I am very impressed, probably for the first time, by a modern audiophile reissue. That from someone who spends a lot of time listening to prime originals and vintage reissues.

      We have heard a lot of hype over the last ten to fifteen years from audiophile producers. People need to sell stuff, I have no issue with that. A lot of people like the modern reissues and are in no position to afford or compare with originals. But like the boy who constantly cried “Wolf!”, when a real wolf comes along nobody quite believes it.

      I don’t believe in engineers “improving” the original product, what Rudy would have wanted to do if he had the modern tools. I like what Rudy did without the modern tools. Occasionally Rudy loused up, but only very occasionally.

      A friend has a lot of Music on Vinyl reissues, Back to Black or whatever. On first hearing they can sound impressive, but they have often been botoxed – bass emphasised, or the stereo separation manipulated so the musicians no longer sound like a group playing together . Beauty is natural even with flaws, plastic surgery is immediately obvious.

      Having eventually bagged a sensibly priced original (mono) of Idle Moments, without a needle stick! after only four years, I would urge patience and seek out an original. Vinyl is a wayward mistress.

  2. I just ordered an early 70s repress. Sometimes I get lucky with those. While lacking the depth of the originals, a good one can be very dynamic with a clear high end. I don’t like any of the new re-masters. They’re too balanced and lack something of the urgency and tension of a Van Gelder “Blue Note.” I’d use the analogy of a perfectly manicured garden to one that organically displays the beauty of its wild growth.

  3. This is my favourite Grant Green album with the added benefits of Henderson and Hutch and one of my favourite BN-sessions as well.
    I own a near mint Mono-copy of this record and this is one of my best bargain stories. I started collecting Blue Notes without realy caring about original and first pressings, I just wanted to have a solid stock of good jazz music, I could turn to. During that time, I saw an offer on amazon’s marketplace and took it for (if I remember correctly) about 20€. I turned out, that it was one helluvan original pressing in meticulous shape, with sharp edges on the cover – seldomly seen. Since that day, I was looking more carefully for record-advertisings, that lack in description – and I had luck several times.
    So thank you for reminding me about this and for sharing the joy of collecting.

      • Unfortunately I cannot show proof at all, hence part of my records are kept away and I believe, this one is in it. But I’ll use the next chance to take photos.
        I couldn’t believe it myself, but I have some other stories, where I got lucky like this. Bad news is, that I could never snipe a 1k-Blue Note record, but I’m fine with that.
        There’s no need to be jealous at all. I’m stunned by reading about your great finds on this blog, so I’m a bit jealous myself 😉

  4. I have to be honest: at first I didn’t like the album at all. I have it on CD of course. Initially I felt it was too slow and too long at times. But this one has to grow on you. And just like a serious glass of red wine, you can’t ‘guzzle’ this album down. You have to take your time for it. The CD comes with alternate, equally lengthy, versions of both Django and Jean De Fleur.

    • The liner notes tell a great story how this take of Idle Moments came to end up on the record at 14 minutes, and how they had to cut Jean de Fleur dwn to half its intended length to fit them both on one side. Perhaps your cd has the JdF take that was originally intended for release. I’m sure I picked up a CD of it along the way, my turn to go listen.

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