Horace Silver: The Jody Grind (1966) Blue Note

HORACE SILVER RETROSPECTIVE No 9: The Jody Grind
Horace-Solver-The-Jody-Grind-cover-1800-LJC

Selection: Blue Silver

Artists

Woody Shaw (trumpet) Tyrone Washington (tenor saxophone) Horace Silver (piano) Larry Ridley (bass) Roger Humphries (drums) James Spaulding (alto & flute), recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 2 and 23, 1966.

 Music

19661966 and the last official recording for “Blue Note Records Inc”, though pressed for Liberty the following year by their own captive plant, All Disc, Roselle N.J. From here on, it’s Liberty Records all the way.

Music is on the cusp too. A head of steam is building under bop, fracturing it in many directions. People who grew up playing and wanting to play jazz were competing for audience attention with counter-culture rebellion, teenage spending-power and the most important question of the day: “which Beatle is the cutest”? Still to come the fracturing of jazz into more demanding avant-garde, and less demanding funk, and then Franken-fusion. This Horace album still feels like  firm ground, but ground not destined to last.

AllMusic note Silver’s intention to produce “funky jazz” but almost in contradiction  formed an advanced front line in Woody Shaw, James Spaulding and young Coltranist Tyrone Washington.-

Of all Silver’s groove-centered records, The Jody Grind winds up as possibly the most challenging. It’s also one of the most underappreciated;  Silver’s piano playing is at its rhythmic, funky best throughout, brimming over with confidence and good cheer, and evoking memories of the classic feel of his early-’60s quintet.

It’s an interesting record which peaked at No. 8 in the Billboard jazz album charts, and is not what you might expect from the cover, though that probably didn’t harm sales.

LJC-Lichael-Caine-fastshow30That title? Jody is apparently a contraction of the name of Joe the Grinder, a character in blues mythology, a ladies man, who seduces the wives and sweethearts of absent prisoners and soldiers.  Grinder is from an old slang verb, to grind, meaning to … Well you can figure that for yourselves. So, The Jody Grind. Blank looks.

Vinyl: BST 84250

No ear of course but the VAN GELDER stamp, and these early NY/Liberty van Gelders sound excellent, and it is not like there is an alternative.

Cover: Reid Miles

Blue Note’s riposte to the success of Impulse gatefolds? I think Blue Note’s first gatefold catapults Horace into the world of changing fashion (independent mod chicks, no longer bunny playmates) and Horace joins in with a shonky hat, slightly bashful, smiling through it all. Reid Miles seizes the new gatefold back cover opportunity with a visual pun, Horace and the girl’s backs. Sly sense of humour, a great Miles Reid cover.

Horace-Solver-The-Jody-Grind-labels-1800-LJC

Why did this gatefold owner affix these strips of tape methodically to the gatefold? Some record owners in the ’60s seemed to have an unhealthy interest in Sellotape verging on bondage.

Horace-Silver---The-Jody-Grind-gatefold--cover-1800-LJC-1

Horace-Solver-The-Jody-Grind-rearcover-1800-LJC

Collector’s Corner

BN 4250 is a landmark in two respects. It marks the end of this retrospective of Horace Silver (not all records covered), and the end of the line of the greatest jazz label, Blue Note, with its sale to Liberty Records in 1966. Alfred-Lion

The gatefold photo (taken at the time or not?) shows Lion in pensive mood, perhaps contemplating the merits of this 31st take of Blue Silver and the cost of all that studio time (compared with the only two takes required for Mexican Hip Dance. “Dat svings too, no?”) Or perhaps he is contemplating the future of his creation, Blue Note Records, and the loss of artistic control. Perhaps its uncertainty over the future direction of jazz itself.

Horace went on to make many more records, van Gelder forever, and Lion held on a little longer with Blue Note, but things would never quite be the same again, though the legacy will never be dimmed. When I put a Blue Note record on, I swear, it is now the turntable that smiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Horace Silver: The Jody Grind (1966) Blue Note

  1. There’s a reason this title [which I’ve never heard] has never appeared as an RVG CD.

    Liberty, or UA, or Capitol lost the master tape.

    The early ’90’s CD was a ‘needle drop’

    • Yes, if you listen carefully the CD version is sourced from vinyl. It seems Duke Pearson honey bee is the same, I’m sure there are others.
      I guess I’m fortune to have both on original vinyl. The 4250 is mono liberty label and 4252 is stereo NY USA label

  2. Great record indeed! A question about the mono vs stereo first issue: it seems like the stereo version has New York labels, the mono version Liberty. Although all pressings are Liberty. Does a mono with New York labels exist? Did they issue both versions at the same time, or was stereo released earlier?

    The cover of the mono however only mentions 4250, the stereo cover both 4250 and 84250. Then if stereo was released earlier, it wouldn’t make much sense to press another cover especially for mono…
    Does anybody know?
    Bart

    • The mono 4250 I could find only with Division of Liberty. I don’t think it exists with NY label.

      The stereo 84250 exists both with NY labels and with Division of Liberty.

      The Division of Liberty label stereo looks a later pressing, probably during the Transamerica transition, different printer, malformed ®, cheaper paper causing ink to spread, different pressing die.

      They had Van Gelder masters for both mono and stereo, Stereo NY labels but maybe no mono NY labels.

      The mono and stereo covers differ mainly in repositioning cover artwork

      Neat quickfix. I see the stereo cover also adds the mono catalogue number, dual purpose

  3. LJC…..Pyschic Maybe?!?! I just won this very record on Ebay, couldn’t live with the “sourced from a CD master” CD that I had. Now I’m even more excited to receive it!

  4. This album always strikes me as a particularly fine recording as if Van Gelder had really mastered the art of stereo at this point. 1966 was an amazing year for music with production innovations on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and The Beatle’s Revolver but they somehow sound much more dated to me than The Jody Grind.

  5. Thank you LJC – enjoyed the Horace Silver review series. Horace’s recordings has been played and played in this household over the last 3 weeks or so and even my “slightly-jazz-hating” wife loves the obvious joy in his music.

  6. Great post LJC – I don’t know why I have not given this record any notice in all these years – shame on me and my loss.

    I am at this moment, listening to the the complete session on Rdio.com. Great album, and funky as “all get out.” It has me patting my feet.

    I just made an offer on an eBay mono copy that’s in VG- condition with no skips according to the owner. If I don’t get this one at my offer price, I will place a bid on a nice Stereo copy which still has a few days left on auction.

    • My ebay offer was accepted. Now the wait to hear it live. It will be a nice addition to my collection after having given up on more Horace Silver records.

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this wonderful series of retrospectives on Horace Silver.

    Seems like you’ve discovered some long lost gems in your collection while, at the same time, giving us blog watchers lots of musical pleasure.

    Focussing on one person has been a real joy. A chance to get to know the man and the music over the years.

    Guy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s