Ike Quebec's 1961-1962 comeback albums for Blue Note were all pretty rewarding, but Blue and Sentimental is his signature statement of the bunch, a superbly sensuous blend of lusty blues swagger and achingly romantic ballads.
Righteous Bobby Hutcherson from the 70s – one of his last albums recorded in the company of reedman Harold Land – and one of his greatest too! There's a wonderful mix of modes going on here – modal jazz meets California sun, blending a sense of spiritualism with some of the warmth that Hutcherson was increasingly discovering in his music – especially on the album's use of marimbas, which are surprisingly great next to Bobby's vibes!
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. Although it was scheduled for release two times, Memphis to New York Spirit didn't appear until 1996, over 25 years after it was recorded. The album comprises the contents of two separate sessions – one recorded in 1970 with guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer, drummer Leroy Williams and saxophonist/flautist Marvin Cabell; the other recorded in 1969 with Cabell, Williams, and saxophonist George Coleman – that were very similiar in concept and execution.
All the rave reviews about this album are justified; this is a superb, sizzling, and very soulful live recording from 1970. According to the liner notes this recording was made "almost as an afterthought" by Blue Note. But afterwards, the label decided not to release the show, keeping it in the Blue Note vaults until it finally saw the light of day in 2000. But patience is rewarded; this is a fantastic album.
Recorded in 1970 but not released until 1996, Live At the "It Club" shows the Three Sounds pulling out funky, gritty rhythms out of their basic bluesy hard-bop sound. The group's funky influences are most noticeable in the rhythm section of drummer Carl Burnette and bassist Henry Franklin, who had been playing with Harris for only a short time when this set was recorded. The rhythm section pushes Harris, making the music loose and swinging – the groove matters more than anything on the album. Occasionally, the energy of the Three Sounds lags, but Live at the "It Club" is an enjoyable piece of grooving soul-jazz.
One of the first albums to really show Blue Mitchell's genius as a leader – recorded past the more formulaic bop modes of some of his other Riverside sessions, and handled with a lyrical edge that really gets at the best aspects of his playing. Of course, part of the reason for this is that Blue's in the company of some of his Horace Silver bandmates – including drummer Roy Brooks, tenorist Junior Cook, and bassist Gene Taylor – but even more than that, the presence of a young Cedar Walton on piano really makes the set sparkle, as does the choice of some extremely strong material – such as "The Cup Bearers" and "Capers", both written by that young and glowing jazz compositional lumiary, Tom McIntosh, and the tunes "Turquoise, written by Walton, and "Dingbat Blues", written by Charles Davis. Forgive the long sentence, but the quality of this one's best expressed in a single breath!