554

Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!!

By

Sign in to view read count
Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!! The five exclamation marks following the word Compulsion are completely appropriate for a title. Of all the distinguished albums of Andrew Hill's career as a pianist/composer, this is arguably the most passionately executed. The monumentality of this recording can best be realized by looking at its recording date of 1965. Coltrane was leaving his classic quartet and experimenting with multiple drummers. Archie Shepp was likewise experimenting with heavily augmented percussion sections. Art Blakey's earlier recordings with various African and neo-African drummers were popularly circulating in jazz circles, as was Babatunde Olatunji's popular and influential Drums of Passion. Into this drum-laden time stepped Hill.

What makes this album sound so fresh after decades is the consistently intricate and emotionally galvanizing interplay between Hill, his polyrhythmic rhythmic section, and the horns. John Gilmore, here on bass clarinet and tenor sax, always had an astute way of pushing Hill into playing at the top of his intelligence, making me believe that the best Hill recordings were those with Gilmore contributing. As for trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, this was the kind of session that also challenged him deeply, as his freely searching and scorching solo on "Premonition" illustrates.

As for Hill, you can sense that this was his moment of heeding Cecil Taylor's dictum that a piano consists of eighty-eight tuned drums. His percussive attack on the title track is a furiously rhapsodic soundtrack to the mid-1960s. The four compositions tend to run together with repeated listening as if this is one suite of sound and fury, with "Premonition" as a pensive, meditative interlude.

This long-overdue CD reissue helps heighten the presence of the superb contributions of bassist Cecil McBee, and drummers Joe Chambers, Nadi Qamar, and Renaud Simmons. I recall my original vinyl copy had a murky sounding smear of bass drum sounds, not that it stopped me from wearing out the grooves quickly. This recording is a core document of 1960s jazz.

Track Listing: Compulsion; Legacy; Premonition; Limbo.

Personnel: Andre Hill: piano; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Gilmore: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Cecil McBee: bass; Richard Davis: bass (3); Joe Chambers: drums; Nadi Qamar: African drums, thumb piano, percussion; Renaud Simmons: congas, percussion.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Back In Your Own Backyard CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin' CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Through The Glass CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Rise" CD/LP/Track Review Rise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!