Grant Green: Green Blues – Jazztime (1961) / Muse (1973)

Grant-Green-Green-Blues-cover-1800-LJC  Selection 1: One for Elena

This record is too good to get away with just the one selection. Move on to number two. Selection 2: Reaching Out

Artists

Frank Haynes (tenor saxophone) Billy Gardner (piano) Grant Green (guitar) Ben Tucker (bass) Dave Bailey (drums) recorded Bell Sound Studios, NYC, March 15, 1961

Music: Recorded during Grant Green’s ascendancy as the guitar voice of Blue Note,  shortly after Blue Note sessions with Lou Donaldson and Baby-Face Willette, and shortly before Mobley’s album Workout. Hot hot hot.

Jazztime-Label-Dave-BaileyWhilst not a Blue Note recording, it dates from the same time, from the white heat of modern jazz of the early ’60s. Originally recorded for the obscure Jazztime label,  that  label had very little market traction. It was subsequently brought to market by Muse over a decade later in 1973. This is the stuff that falls through the cracks, vintage reissues of vintage first issues.

Historical note: Fred Norsworthy’s Jazztime label, based in Malton, Ontario, Canada, was launched in 1961. At some later point the name was changed to Jazzline The recordings  (including unissued material)  later appeared  under  many different names and titles on Polydor, Fontana, Onyx, Muse, and Black Lion Records. Muse continues to be one of those overlooked and undervalued labels. Great!

Exciting and affordable. Frank Haynes tenor is “respectable”, as is everyone else on this session. Green is not given excess space, which is granted to the whole ensemble, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable modern jazz outing to satisfy anyone with a taste for this genre

Vinyl: Muse MR 5014 (1973)

Muse reissue of Jazztime JT 003  “Dave Bailey Quintet – Reaching Out” which fetches an extraordinary sum at auction. Grant Green 1st Our Miss BrooksOn further investigation it seems this recording has had a number of identities, under different claimed leadership and different covers, published in different countries at different times. A Dutch Fontana stereo pressing appears (right, hat tip Moko) title taken from one of the tracks as “Our Miss Brooks” by Grant Green and the Dave Bailey Quintet.

The Muse seems to be the vinyl of choice, compared with the cost of a Jazztime original, though I wouldn’t expect the Fontana to be much different from Muse.  I have seen a price premium put on Dave Bailey records before, but I had no idea he was considered a highly collectable artists.  Muse mastering and pressing is very acceptable in early years, only 1973 Grant-Green-Green-Blues-labels-1800-LJC Grant-Green-Green-Blues-backcover-1800-LJC Collector’s Corner

It is often the case you walk into a buy-situation in a store – no information, no recognition, merely instinct – you either buy or not buy. This was a little gem, the laminated thick cardboard  cover shouted buy!! as did the provenance 1961. Which I did, no regrets. The laminated cover is a real joy, as is the easy flow of the music, balanced between bop and soul-jazz, is a delight. Not something to set the world on fire, but something to sit back on the sofa to enjoy.

That April 1st post! Not the latest one, but the Elvis prank from a year ago. Observe the reader stats in the last few days! Insane.April1stats OMG. Very flattering, 27,316 page views in one day, this is Justin Beiber territory, but I am content with jazz fans 2,000 views a day  .

Many people are still asking for a copy of my Elvis hoax, from last year. Perhaps someone could produce one, we may have a winner here.

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16 thoughts on “Grant Green: Green Blues – Jazztime (1961) / Muse (1973)

  1. Wow, never realized that this Grant Green title was a re-titled reissue of a Dave Bailey record. Good to know and on a side note Bailey is severely underrated!!

  2. But this is fake stereo, isn’t it? It seems that these tracks have never been released in true stereo.

    • The Dutch Fontana reissue, titled “Our Miss Brooks” claims to be stereo, as the Muse. By 1961 recordings were commonly in two track (cue DGMono) so its not out of the question that both mono fold-down and stereo options exist?

      Because the label and cover indicated stereo, the Muse rip was made with the mono switch of the phono amp set for stereo. I’ve never known Muse or Fontana electronically reprocess mono for stereo, or at least not declare it, and it doesn’t sound obviously fake stereo to me, but I would have to watch the histograms in Audacity to be sure.

      • Fake stereo it is, no doubt. All you have to do is listen via headphones. The higher frequencies are pushed to the left, the lower ones right, perhaps a little reverb added, but there is no way to locate the individual instruments. Both Audacity and Steinberg make it look very much like fake stereo.
        What’s more: All CD reissues and downloads seem to be in mono, as far as I can gather from samples presented on various websites.

        • My experience?. The Muse pressing has a fairly centrally-focussed mono presentation, sounds easy and open, quite natural. Any tweaking is not detrimental to the presentation, unlike some dodgy “reprocessing for stereo” of old mono recordings. It sounds fine to me, which is all that matters, to me.

          • On second thought, you are right about “Elena”. I was listening to “Reaching Out”, where I think my verdict is justified. The highs are definitely to the left on this track. It’s fake stereo to my ears. Just try pressing the mono switch while listening through headphones, and you will notice a striking difference! It certainly isn’t true stereo. But yes, it sounds fine, it really does.

  3. I’ve seen millions of records in my life but this one was completely unknown.
    Bailey has at least two other rare records with Frank Haynes on tenor: Bush (+Dorham and Fuller, 1961, Jazzline) and 2 Feet in the Gutter (+ Bill Hardman, 1962, Epic).
    this is a nice discovery for me, a “new” tenor voice I was unaware of.
    record to search for.

    • There is an other unknown tenor on Jazztime: Ricky Boyd’s “Ease it”. JT001 with K.D. courtesy Time records. My copy is stereo, so the Dave Bailey JT003 may have been recorded in stereo too. My 003 copy happens to be a monaural album though.
      The mid-sixties Dutch Fontana “Jazz Life” series were stereo only, which does not exclude the possibility of a fake stereo if only a mono master was available. Most of the Jazz Life albums were actually recorded in Phonogram’s Hilversum studios.

    • It seems to me that any of the titles Dave Bailey did on Epic are highly sought after. In his case it may have more to do with the “company he keeps” – the bands include big name players on both well known and somewhat obscure hard bop material, including originals by the band’s trumpeter, Clark Terry.

  4. I see Matador fetches plus $100! Up to $250.
    How do you feel this compares?
    That’s a pretty stellar lineup on Matador. I can find Green Blues NM for $12!

    Best,

    Daniel

    • Matador was I think a mid ’60s Grant Green recording only released in the late ’70s in Japan. His other Japan-only title Gooden’s Corner carries the same price tag I guess on account of being vintage King Records and scarcity.

      Having both original King titles, I confess I prefer Green in the quintet setting with more musical textures – brass – a not a forty minute guitar outing. Apologies to any Green men out there. That said, Grant Green is one of the few jazz guitarist I can listen to, along with Kenny Burrell.

      Green Blues is excellent money for music value, but each have their merits.

      • I also have both those King pressings (plus a number of other Grant Green’s). In a happy coincidence, Gooden’s Corner has been on my turntable during the last week. I think which of Gooden’s Corner or Matador you prefer depends on the mood you’re in. This week the purity of guitar backed by a rhythm section has proved to be the winner. On another day, it may well be the other way round.

        The 1961-62 period was hugely productive for Green with him recording much more than could be released with commercial success. The good news is that it was all high quality and has, I think, since been released in one form or another. Quite a few by King in Japan and also on the excellent Mosaic box set. I must get round to covering this era of Green’s work on my blog.

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