264

Grant Green: Goin' West

By

Sign in to view read count
Grant Green: Goin' West Tempting as it is to dismiss this Grant Green album as the sixties' slant on lite jazz, overriding talent, as one would expect, has a tendency to compensate for a decided lack of risk taking, the very virtue, considering the quality of these players, that could have elevated Goin' West to a minor classic. Recorded in November of 1962 and shelved until 1969, possibly because of its brevity or the glut of Green releases on the market, Goin' West , if one wanted to labor the point, is actually a third of a cycle of would-be concept albums cut by the guitarist over an eight month period after Born To Be Blue and nearly a year prior to Idle Moments —or, as they could be co-billed, the infallible Grant Green recordings as a leader. While The Latin Bit focused on samba styles and Feelin' the Spirit drew from the old Southern hymnals, Goin' West , though nominally a country and western recording, moves us into the realm of folk music—bluegrass folk music and clippity-clappity cowboy tunes— not the stuff of the Bear Family Bonanza box set, mind, but not altogether dissimilar in spirit. Considering drummer Billy Higgins had played on Ornette Coleman's first Atlantic sessions, bassist Reggie Workman with John Coltrane, and pianist Herbie Hancock would soon become a part of Miles Davis' most adventurous and best band, the playing could not be more "in." Having said that, it would be hard to imagine Goin' West being a greater delight, a straight forward, unencumbered jazz delight—finesse jazz is a readily applicable moniker. As much as you may resent "On Top of Old Smokey" from your grammar school days, and its proliferate versions in all manner and mode of musical genre, the version here, with that killer, pulse to the fore sound of Rudy Van Gelder, has what could well make the shortlist of classic Grant Green solos, a brisk, bluesy, construction that unfurls economically and incisively with the manner and shape of a narrative, albeit one shot through with triplets. A masterpiece, no—Billy Higgins may even be the real star of this record—but Goin' West is an intriguing release nonetheless—I often find it to be a daily favorite—and current day MOR fetishists may well have their minds blown.


Copyright 2004 Goldmine / Krause Publications . Reprinted with permission.


Track Listing: 1. On Top of Old Smokey 2. I Can't Stop Loving You 3. Wagon Wheels 4. Red River Valley 5. Tumbling Tumbleweeks

Personnel: Grant Green (g), Herbie Hancock (p), Reggie Workman (b) Billy Higgins (d)

Title: Goin' West | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Translator's Note CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Then and Now CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Gol CD/LP/Track Review Gol
by James Nadal
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Duo (DCWM) 2013 CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio To Wayne Shorter
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.