Sunday, December 27, 2009

Grant GREEN - The Complete Blue Note Recordings Of Grant Green With Sonny Clark 1961-1962

Grant GREEN - The Complete Blue Note Recordings Of Grant Green With Sonny Clark 1961-1962


Over a five-week period in early 1962, Grant Green recorded three amazing quartet sessions with Sonny Clark on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Louis Hayes or Art Blakey on drums. As magnificent as the results were, the three albums, considered too progressive for Green's soul-jazz following, languished in the vaults for 18 years. In 1980, "Airegin," the session with Blakey, came out in the United States, while the two with Hayes ("Gooden's Corner" and "Oleo") came out only in Japan. Later issued briefly on Mosaic with three bonus tracks, they have since become collectors' items of legendary proportions. Now Blue Note is finally making them available on this specially-priced 2-CD set. Some of the best music Grant Green ever recorded.
Mosaic released a four-disc box set titled The Complete Blue Note With Sonny Clark in 1991, rounding up everything that the guitarist and pianist recorded together between 1961 and 1962. Blue Note's 1997 version of the set, The Complete Quartets With Sonny Clark, trims Mosaic's collection by two discs, offering only the quartet sessions (the Ike Quebec sessions, Born to Be Blue and Blue and Sentimental, are available on individual discs). In some ways, this actually results in a more unified set, since it puts Green and Clark directly in the spotlight, with no saxophone to complete for solos, but it doesn't really matter if the music is presented as this double-disc set, the four-disc box, or the individual albums — this is superb music, showcasing the guitarist and pianist at their very best. All of the sessions are straight-ahead bop but the music has a gentle, relaxed vibe that makes it warm, intimate, and accessible. Grant and Clark's mastery is subtle — the music is so enjoyable, you may not notice the deftness of their improvisation and technique — but that invests the music with the grace, style, and emotion that distinguishes The Complete Quartets. Small group hard bop rarely comes any better than this.
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine.
Grant Green - Guitar
Sonny Clark - Piano
Sam Jones - Bass
Art Blakey - Drums (cd1, #1-7)
Louis Hayes - Drums
01. Airegin (Rollins) 7:32
02. It Ain't Necessarily So (Gershwin, Gershwin) 10:20
03. I Concentrate on You (Porter) 5:40
04. The Things We Did Last Summer (Cahn, Styne) 5:54
05. The Song Is You (Hammerstein, Kern) 7:44
06. Nancy (With the Laughing Face) (Silvers, VanHeusen) 6:20
07. Airegin [alternate take] (Rollins) 7:34
08. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper, Washington) 6:25
09. Shadrack (MacGimsey) 6:20
10. What Is This Thing Called Love ? (Porter) 5:40
01. Moon River (Mancini, Mercer) 5:34
02. Gooden's Corner (Green) 8:11
03. Two for One (Green) 7:38
04. Oleo (Rollins) 5:35
05. Little Girl Blue (Hart, Rodgers) 7:12
06. Tune-Up (Davis) 7:17
07. Hip Funk (Green) 8:35
08. My Favorite Things (Hammerstein, Rodgers) 8:28
09. Oleo [alternate take] (Rollins) 6:00

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