Album review. Based on new readings of John Coltrane's music from his middle (pre-free jazz) period, 'Wise One' is vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's most rewarding album for a decade.
Kind Of Blue
Release date: November 30th 2009
Based on new readings of John Coltrane's music from his middle (pre-free jazz) period, 'Wise One' is vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's most rewarding album for a decade.
One of the keys to the success of this album is the depth of experience of the West Coast musicians involved.
Anthony Wilson, a composer and arranger best known for this work as a member of singer Diana Krall's quartet and for leading a trio with organist Larry Goldings, plays crystal clear guitar lines with a wonderful feel and touch.
Pianist Joe Gilman, who has recorded with Joe Henderson and is known for his interpretations of the music of Dave Brubeck and Stevie Wonder, has had a long term interest in the music of John Coltrane. He has been a regular at Bobby Hutcherson performances since 2006. His piano playing adds real dynamism to the leader's subtle approach.
Drummer Eddie Marshall is a stalwart of the West Coast jazz scene and long time associate of Bobby Hutcherson, having played with Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbbard, Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon and recording with Kenny Burrell and Ahmad Jamal. He appeared on five Bobby Hutcherson albums released in the 1970's and has been regularly touring with him since 2007. The understanding is evident in the developed sense of rhythmic balance of this music.
Bassist Glenn Richman is a regular member of Bobby Hutcherson's quartet and has appeared with Joe Henderson, George Coleman, Tom Harrell and Eddie Henderson. His well-crafted bass lines provide dynamism.
Bobby Hutcherson's place as one of the most important artists in jazz during the past forty years, initiated with his recordings for Blue Note in the 60s and early 70s, does not dominate (though his playing is, of course, inspirational throughout); this is a tight quintet in perfect balance and playing what is right for the music. It is this democratic spirit in his playing that has always marked him out as the great musician that he is.
Translating John Coltrane's music to the new context of a vibraphone-led quintet was always going to result in a more mellow sound and feel and that indeed is what 'Wise One' delivers. However, it is just that sense that a new light is being shed on the music rather than its being deintensified that makes the album so worthwhile. The meditative elements of John Coltrane's genius emerge more clearly once the anger that informed so much of his work as an unavoidable product of the time is taken away.
Very highly recommended.
To preview and purchase Bobby Hutcherson "Wise One" on CD at amazon:
Read our reviews of other Bobby Hutcheson albums
Jazz at amazon.com
100 Greatest Store
RETURN TO: Jazz New Releases
RETURN TO: Main Page