Amazon.com Widgets

My Blue Note Obsession

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Introducing Johnny Griffin – Blue Note 1533

Read "Introducing Johnny Griffin – Blue Note 1533" reviewed by

In jazz and rock--heck, even in classical music--there is a sacred throne for those who play fast. Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson occupy such thrones. So do Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen. Fast is fun. Johnny Griffin played fast--very fast. The evidence is here in Griffin's very first album, Introducing Johnny Griffin. It's a 1956 date with a quartet that includes Wynton Kelly on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums. For 70 years, Griffin was a jazz giant, and this album, his first as a leader, is among his very best. ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver: Six Pieces of Silver – Blue Note 1539

Read "Horace Silver: Six Pieces of Silver – Blue Note 1539" reviewed by

Yep, this is the “Senor Blues" album. That's not the name, obviously, but it could be. This outstanding hard bop CD, recorded by Horace Silver's quintet in 1956, has 10 tracks, and three of them are “Senor Blues." No wonder. It's arguably the best track in the collection--a Spanish-tinged slow blues toe-tapper. Even so, three versions may be one too many. First, there's the album version. It's a 7-minute original by Silver himself. It's a groovy piece with a catchy hook, featuring nice bluesy solos by Donald Byrd on trumpet, Hank Mobley on tenor sax and ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Kenny Dorham: The Complete ‘Round About Midnight at the Café Bohemia – Blue Note 1524

Read "Kenny Dorham: The Complete ‘Round About Midnight at the Café Bohemia – Blue Note 1524" reviewed by

I think I have a new favorite hard bop record. For many years, I considered Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers the perfect hard bop band--the Beatles of the bop set. I still do. I don't know how Blakey managed to find the very best up-and-coming jazz musicians in America, year after year, but somehow he did. And somehow the various bands he put together, no matter who was in them, produced superlative 5-star records, year after year. I have many Blakey/Jazz Messengers albums, and while they're all outstanding, I'd always felt 1954's A Night at ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Herbie Nichols Trio – Blue Note 1519

Read "Herbie Nichols Trio – Blue Note 1519" reviewed by

OK, now I'm cheating. At least it feels that way. The next CD on my quixotic Blue Note odyssey is Herbie Nichols Trio, a 1955-56 trio record by the criminally under-appreciated pianist. Great--I'm looking forward to it! I know almost nothing about Herbie Nichols, except that he was an overlooked talent who was often compared to the quirky Thelonious Monk. How can that be bad? Except... you can't really buy this CD. Not easily. And not cheaply. Go to Amazon and look it up. The first thing you see is that the album is ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Vol. 2 – Blue Note 1516

Read "Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Vol. 2 – Blue Note 1516" reviewed by

Raise your hand if you've never heard of Jutta Hipp. Yeah, me either. And yet, there she is, brooding and shadowy on the cover of her first Blue Note album. Yes, she--a female rarity in the almost-all-male world of 1950s Blue Note. And not American, either. Like Becks and Volkswagen, Jutta Hipp is a German import, but unlike Volkswagen, Hipp is not so very different from her male American counterparts. First, a word about finding Jutta Hipp CDs. The two CDs of Hipp live at the Hickory House, recorded in 1955, are available only as imports, ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers – Blue Note 1517

Read "Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers – Blue Note 1517" reviewed by

And now we reach the point in our program entitled, “What's The Point?" As in: You already know this album, you may already own this album, and yet here we are, discussing an album that's 59 years old and so widely synonymous with hard bop and Blue Note Records that it was featured on the promo page of All About Jazz's special magazine dedicated to All Things Blue Note. In other words, it's like trying to review Sgt. Pepper. Could we possibly say anything you haven't already heard? Well, let's try. For ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Gil Melle – Patterns in Jazz – Blue Note 1517

Read "Gil Melle – Patterns in Jazz – Blue Note 1517" reviewed by

Sometimes, Blue Note surprises you. Often, the Blue Note catalogue is predictable, especially in the '50s and '60s. Some say it is too predictable. But if you dive deep, there are hidden gems slightly off the beaten hard-bop path. Case in point: Gil Melle's Patterns in Jazz. West Coast jazz was never at home at Blue Note. Stan Getz and Dave Brubeck did not record here. But Gil Melle did, briefly, before he went on to composing movie soundtracks. The name may be unfamiliar, but this 1956 album is definitely worth hearing.



Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search