Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

264

Grant Green: Goin' West

By

Sign in to view read count
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

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

My Blue Note Obsession
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Book Reviews
Must Hear Review
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970)

Funk in France: From...

Resonance Records
2018

buy
Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s

Slick! – Live at...

Resonance Records
2018

buy
 

The Main Attraction

Bluemoon Records
2013

buy
 

Four Classic Albums

Bluemoon Records
2012

buy
Street Of Dreams

Street Of Dreams

Blue Note Records
2009

buy
Grant Green: Matador

Grant Green: Matador

Unknown label
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019