Gene Harris never veered closer to mainstream jazz-funk than Tone Tantrum – a slick, propulsive record recalling Donald Byrd's classic sessions with the Mizell brothers (not surprising, given that Byrd turns up on a few tracks here). It's very much a product of its time, channeling influences from underground disco to Stevie Wonder, and remains arguably the most blatantly commercial release in the entire Blue Note catalog.
Now this is more like it. In its Connoisseur Series, Blue Note is making available a completely unreleased Andrew Hill date from 1969. Passing Ships wasn't even included in the Mosaic box because the master tape wasn't found until 2001. The band Hill employed on this session was a nonet, featuring Woody Shaw and Dizzy Reece on trumpets, Joe Farrell on reeds, woodwinds, and English horn, Howard Johnson on tuba and bass clarinet, Ron Carter on bass, Lenny White (on only his second recording date) playing drums, trombonist Julian Priester, and French horn player Bob Northern. The music here is ambitious.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a mini description. Tones for Joan's Bones, Chick Corea's first session as a leader, is a blazing, advanced hard bop set from late 1966, with writing that reveals an affinity with McCoy Tyner's seminal hard bop structures from this period. Tenor player Joe Farrell and trumpeter Woody Shaw are ideal for this music. They deliver virtuoso performances that are both visceral and cerebral.
Features 24 bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. Hasaan was an absolutely unbelievable piano player and composer. If you like Monk, if you know of Herbie Nichols, Hasaan was like Monk plus Nichols to the tenth power. He was a legend who made only one record!!! One of the great tragedies in record history. This is really a Hasaan record, his music and leadership. Max Roach lent his name to it to help it get out in the market. I met Roach in the 70's and asked him about Hasaan…he was immediately overwhelmed, and told me that Hasaan was in poor health. This is a unique recording in every sense.
Features 24bit digital remastering. Comes with a description. With John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, and Jack DeJohnette, this group rivaled the best fusion bands of the day. It must have been an intimidating challenge for a young Czech bassist to lead such a group on his debut album as a frontman, especially since he composed five of the six tracks. Recorded in late 1969, roughly the same time as the historic Bitches Brew, and the year before Vitous began a stint with the innovative Weather Report, this was trend-setting fusion. It's produced by Herbie Mann, for whom Vitous played on such albums as Memphis Underground and Stone Flute.