Selection: One for One (Numark tt rip)
(Next week the laptop returns from the menders, and hopefully it is back to experiments with a direct feed from the big system, a more sound basis for some new shoot-outs)
1965 sessions: Andrew Hill (piano) Freddie Hubbard (cornet) Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone ) Richard Davis (bass) Joe Chambers (drums) recorded February 10, 1965 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
1969 sessions: Bennie Maupin (tenor saxophone, flute) Sanford Allen (violin) Al Brown, Selwart Clarke (viola) Kermit Moore (cello) Andrew Hill (piano) Ron Carter (bass) Mickey Roker (drums) August 1, 1969 Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
1970 sessions: Andrew Hill (Piano) Bennie Maupin (tenor, flute & bass clarinet) Pat Patrick (alto, flute & baritone saxophone) Charles Tolliver (trumpet) Ben Riley – not Freddy Waits as listed – (drums) 16 & 23 January 1970, Rudy Van Gelder Studio Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Hill’s compositions are highly original and rewarding, and the choice of musicians for these sessions is just perfect for such intelligent music. In addition to Joe Henderson and Charles Tolliver, Pat Patrick drops in from the planet Saturn, Bennie Maupin – prior to his stint with electric Miles and Hancock’s Headhunters – brings in a favourite instrument, the bass clarinet along with flute (Dolphy!), all enhancing the tonal textures around Andrew Hill’s unique ventures in rhythmic and harmonic complexity. He shifts from Hancock percussiveness to melodic airy flights of abstraction, but they are ensemble pieces not just Hill solo showcases. The rhythm section is on a mission, and Andrew Hill is firmly grounded, and personally I think at his best.
Initially I had reservations about Hill’s use of a string quartet – usually an ill-advised pretention to classical music – but as Hill’s strength is in unfamiliar melody and adventurous harmony, it works here quite well in its own way, more as another tonal layer rather than a full-blown classical outing.
Leonard Feathers liner notes capture Hill’s summation (in 1975):
“The music sounds as fresh as anything that is happening today. In fact, in my opinion, it sounds fresher.”
I think that still holds good forty years later.
Blue /white b “Reissue Series” misnomer. In the past I reckoned these as poor audio quality, but this one upsets all my predictions, great recording. If the recording engineer gets it right in the first place, as long as no-one mucks it up subsequently, chances are you will have a fine listening experience at the other end.
Bright in-the-room presence, no top-end rolloff, drums and symbols slap you, and intelligent stereo placement, this is a collection of excellent vinyl presentations of outstanding music that excite, and stand out from the crowd.
No runout-engravings of any interest, except the “UA” on every disk.
Liner Notes (continue inside the gatefold)
It’s a Schmidt! The eponymous connoisseur collector, whose records all carry his stylised signature/logo at the foot of the back cover.
Keeping a watching eye on some of the ebay auctions: its always interesting to see how the bidding unfolds and the story it tells, more interesting than the price itself. Here’s a couple that finished last week that caught my eye.
You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel a twinge of sympathy for this newbie, little feet running as fast as they can to keep up with the blue train for over three hours, to no avail.
It’s not the taking part, it’s not how much effort you put in, its not what you desperately want or really deserve. It’s simply about how much money you put on the table. The big guy takes it..
The mid-air collision
An unexpected outcome of a different kind occurred also the other week, when two XXXL snipers bumped into each other playing the same game. Ouch!! It only works when the second-place price-setter is someone sensible. That has turned out to be one very expensive Hutcherson LP.