Thursday, March 25, 2010
Artist: Bobby Hutcherson
Label: Blue Note
Bobby Hutcherson's solo debut, 1965's Dialogue, is a superior work that toes the line between the avant-garde and hard bop. While it may not be as revered in everyday conversation as Ornette's or even Eric Dolphy's records, it remains brilliantly played and paced.
It helps greatly that Hutcherson had one hell of a supporting cast. Three of the tracks were composed by Andrew Hill, whose tender piano playing drives a lot of the pieces. The other two were composed by drummer Joe Chambers. And all of their playing is phenomenal. Freddie Hubbard's trumpet is understated and subdued...and it really sets the tone for everyone else. Everyone is playing just a little bit and nobody is attempting to blow anyone else out of the water. Richard Davis on the bass switches well between playing with and without a bow, and Sam Rivers on the woodwind adds immensely to the feel of the album.
The ten-minute long title track seems to be the most abstract piece and stylistically, this album has a lot going for it. Hints of Latin and Free Jazz are present, as it straight-ahead bop. And the music seems to move in waves...decrescendos in playing seem to go on for a few minutes at a time, and then all of a sudden, a wave of sound erupts and all of the players are going. But it's not necessarily at the top or bottom of a song...it'll happen right in the middle.
Everyone who plays on this album is superb at their instrument, and the compositions and playing are elegant and really tight. A great place to start for those looking to dig on sixties jazz.