178

Buck Hill: Relax

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Buck Hill: Relax A recent review of a book by a 26-year-old author noted that the only problem with the work was that the author had "not lived long enough or suffered enough. This sentiment is easily extended to music. Give me a grizzled veteran from the chitlin' circuit instead of a Julliard graduate anytime. Washington DC Tenor saxophonist Buck Hill is eighty years old and has not recorded as a leader in fifteen years. There is certainly a story behind that, and I am sure it is a good one. On Relax Hill leads a tenor-guitar-organ outing reminiscent of 1950s blowing sessions. This music smells of cigarettes and scotch.

Leading his guitar-organ quartet, Hill splits his time equally between his original material and standards, three of which come from the book of Miles Davis. The disc opens with Hill's "RH Blues, and offers the listener a good look at his style and tone. It is altogether too easy to say that Hill's style possesses elements of Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. No, Buck Hill is Buck Hill, the product of a million late night performances and early morning jam sessions. He certainly rubbed elbows with Young and Hawkins, as well as Ben Webster. Hill's tone is full and precise—no jonesing Gene Ammons here; Hill is straight-ahead.

"Relax is a loping stroll that features the whole band playing great ensemble jazz. The standard "Old Folks is a kick because of the Lawrence Welk organ and Hill's impeccable ballad style. Hill's quaint "Little Bossa and airy "Sad Ones bookend the saxophonist's mini-tribute to Miles Davis, featuring the post-Kind of Blue "Flamenco Sketches and "Prancing [sic] and the earlier, Charlie Parker-period "Milestones. Hill captures perfectly in his more "traditional manner the Davis lines, drawing the circuitous melodies into order with a brilliant beauty.

Buck Hill is not exactly a jazz household name. He is like a multitude of musicians whose spotlight was either brief or non-existent because of personal reasons or existing in the shadow of other, better-know musicians. But it is exactly these musicians that warrant a listening. They can sit down and perform anywhere, anytime, with or without practice. They are the superior entities of music.


Track Listing: RH Blues; Relax; Old Folks; Little Bossa; Flamenco Sketches; Prancing; Milestones; Sad Ones.

Personnel: Buck Hill: tenor saxophone; Paul Pieper: guitar; John Ozment: Hammond B-3 organ; Jerry Jones: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Severn Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
Sonny Stitt Sonny Stitt
saxophone
Joe Locke Joe Locke
vibraphone
Zoot Sims Zoot Sims
sax, tenor
Johnny Griffin Johnny Griffin
sax, tenor
Hank Mobley Hank Mobley
sax, tenor
Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson
saxophone
Ike Quebec Ike Quebec
sax, tenor
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
Greg Tardy Greg Tardy
sax, tenor
Jimmy Cobb Jimmy Cobb
drums

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Tie the Stone to the Wheel" CD/LP/Track Review Tie the Stone to the Wheel
by John Eyles
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute
by Jim Olin
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1978 at The Old Waldorf
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself An Alto Madness Christmas
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!