The elder statesman of the vibraphone and the fastest gun in organ town don't seem like ideal partners on paper, but on record they gel quite well. Blue Note vibraphone icon Bobby Hutcherson and the fleet-fingered Joey DeFrancesco initially teamed up for the organist's Organic Vibes (Concord, 2006), and their chemistry was so strong that they couldn't just let that be a one-off pairing. Somewhere In The Night finds them sharing stage space while entertaining adoring fans at Jazz At Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in the fall of 2009. Hutcherson gets top billing this time, but the ...read more
Recently named NEA Jazz Master, Bobby Hutcherson has an extensive discography, though opportunities to record as a leader have slowed a good bit since the dawn of the 21st century. Hutcherson is still very much an important vibraphonist, as this excellent tribute to John Coltrane reveals. All nine songs were either written or recorded by Coltrane, though Hutcherson's choice of instrumentation deliberately moves away from the jazz master's typical groups. Guitarist Anthony Wilson takes the place of a second reed instrument while pianist Joe Gilman and drummer Eddie Marshall both have a lighter style of playing in comparison to McCoy ...read more
Grachan Moncur III Evolution Blue Note 1963 John Coltrane / Archie Shepp New Thing At Newport Impulse 1965 Bobby Hutcherson Head On Blue Note 1971 Bobby Hutcherson is now comfortably ensconced in jazz history as one of the great vibraphonists of the post-Milt Jackson generation. He has amassed a large discography that demonstrates his melodic and compositional skills and flawless technique. It's frequently forgotten that in ...read more
A brilliant addition to Blue Note's Connoisseur series, Head On not only resuscitates vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's fascinating but obscure 1971 album of the same name, it also--with 43 minutes of previously unissued material--reveals another album altogether, made during the second half of the same three-day session, of the same high quality but with a markedly different feel.
Both albums feature Hutcherson's regular quintet of the time--with tenor saxophonist Harold Land and trumpeter Oscar Brashear--augmented by horns and percussion arranged by pianist Todd Cochran. Both are adventurous conceptions reflecting the era's restless search for new ideas and new directions. ...read more
Bobby Hutcherson says that he always wanted to record an album of ballads and love songs. That dream has been realized with this recording, which he calls his love record. It comes across as more; it is a love-in for the listener as well.
Hutcherson is a player who makes every note count, whose every touch of the mallet makes the vibraphone sing. His instinct makes the music glow as he fills it with his fervent passion without letting the cup of emotion spill over.
Hutcherson has a compatriot of the spirit in pianist Renee Rosnes. She is articulate and ...read more
How easy is it to fall for this gentle recording of ballads and love songs? Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson chooses cherished songs from his youth to deliver one gorgeous session of music.
The jazz faithful know many sides of Hutcherson. There's the Blue Note sideman of the 1960s sprinting with the hard bop young lions Hank Mobley, Grant Green and Freddie Hubbard. Then there is the new Thing maverick, accompanying Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy and Jackie McLean. There are those who cherish his standing toe-to-toe with the fierceness of Harold Land's horn. Certainly some of you will have a ...read more
The 1970s are often disparaged as an era dominated by fusion and disco, which is largely true. But there was also some excellent, innovative jazz being made. Unfortunately, owing to the commercial realities of the day--and many subsequent days--some of the best '70s jazz has remained unreleased or available only to the most intrepid of fans. Case in point: Bobby Hutcherson's mid-1970s output for Blue Note, much of which has never been issued on CD in the US. But thanks to the team at Mosaic Records, five of the great vibraphonist's long-lost albums can now be heard ...read more
Bobby Hutcherson Mosaic Select 26 Mosaic Records 2007
Among the relatively small community of vibraphonists, Bobby Hutcherson is not only one of the most influential, he's clearly the most widely versed and consistent too. In a career now nearing its sixth decade, Hutcherson has played mainstream to Third Stream and soul jazz to free jazz. A mainstay of the Blue Note label in the 1960s and 1970s, he released ten discs as a leader between 1965 and 1969, and also played on albums by artists including Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, ...read more
Watching vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson play his instrument is like dropping in on someone jiving with a dear old friend. He banters with the vibes as he plays, weaving his lanky body to the rhythm he's laying down. Suddenly he will frown down at the board, appearing to question its tone as though it were an insolent child or has made an odd statement with which he disagrees. But then Hutcherson will grin mischievously at something shared only between him and the vibes, his still youthful features will light up and the friends are on the same page again.read more
Recorded in 1966, and here with a 24-bit remaster by original engineer Rudy Van Gelder, Happenings heralded a new, less structurally adventurous approach from avant-garde standard-bearer and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. As such it is, inevitably if rather unfairly--the individual performances are outstanding--less of a headline affair than the work which came before it.
Happenings is the first album to present Hutcherson as the featured soloist fronting a conventional rhythm section, instead of amongst the experimentally-inclined sextets and quintets he'd led and guested with before. These had produced, most notably, Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch (Blue Note, 1964) and Hutcherson's own ...read more
This album, recorded in 1967, is so special that it's hard to imagine why it wasn't released until 1980--and even then, only in Japan. Energy, creativity and empathy permeate it, and the players fit together wonderfully. Bassist Albert Stinson is subtle and inventive, making it all the more of a loss that he died two years later, at 24. Had he lived, he would have become known as one of the giants of his instrument. The first piece, Hutcherson's 'Til Then, has a hushed feel, sounding on the surface almost like background music. Underneath, though, all sorts ...read more
A welcome and worthwhile addition to Blue Note's Rudy Van Gelder remaster series, Oblique is one of only two quartet albums Bobby Hutcherson recorded for the label, and it's the most enduring by a long mile. Two tracks in particular, Oblique" and Bi-Sectional," both by genius drummer/composer Joe Chambers, are bona fide, five star hall-of-fame greats.
Hutcherson's first quartet album was Happenings, recorded in '66. Oblique followed in '67. The lineup on both occasions was the same except for the bassist: Bob Cranshaw was replaced on the second album by Albert Stinson.
What gives Oblique the ...read more
Few records capture and transcend their moment in time as definitively as Now!. Recorded in 1969, the disc emotionally echoes sentiments central to the black power movement of the day. The music is strong, passionate, sensitive, optimistic, and--like the struggle it heralded--timeless. The premier vibraphonist/composer of his generation, Bobby Hutcherson had already expanded the modern jazz vocabulary with his quintet of tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Stanley Cowell (or Kenny Barron), bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Joe Chambers. On Now! the group, augmented by guitarist Wally Richardson, conguero Candido Camero, three female voices, and lead vocalist/lyricist Gene MacDaniels, creates a ...read more
Recorded five years apart, these two Blue Note reissues highlight jazz creativity of very different kinds. Bobby Hutcherson’s Dialogue is a shining example of what can be called the Andrew Hill aesthetic. Thad Jones & Mel Lewis’s Consummation features the highly original big-band craftsmanship of the late Thad Jones. Interestingly, Richard Davis is the bassist on both records, serving as a link between the two worlds. Dialogue, first issued in 1965, was Hutcherson’s debut as a leader, and it reflects lessons learned on adventurous recording dates like Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure and Eric Dolphy’s Out to ...read more
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