Friday, April 17, 2009

Bobby Hutcherson Montara

From 1975's "Montara", here's vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson with the smooth title track. Sampled later for The Roots' "Montara" and remade/remixed by Madlib.

For sure, this is the strangest Bobby Hutcherson disc in his fine catalog: Electric piano, Latin percussion, a definite psychedelic/Latin/jazz/fusion vibe. Originally recorded in August of 1975, it is just now available on CD in a digitally remastered edition.

Can you dig it? Hey, it's the seventies. What else would you expect? Bobby probably wore some righteous bell bottoms and a tight-fitting polyester shirt to these sessions.

Called Hutcherson's first all Latin session, it lives up to its billing, and actually contains some very fine playing, once you get over the seventies weirdness. Since Bobby H is hands down my favorite vibes/marimba player (and he esp. shines on the latter instrument), I'd probably pick up anything and everything by him. And although I'm experiencing a kind of jazz/fusion personal renaissance, I still struggle a bit with the sensibility here--too much dated electronics for my taste. Which raises the question: Will Dave Douglas, Brad Mehldau, Matthew Shipp, et. al. sound this dated 25 years from now? Hmmmm.

Comprising an almost equal amount of driving Latin-rhythms and gorgeous ballads, this session does have some very special moments like the gorgeous ballad "Love Song" and the medium-tempo "Little Angel."

Probably not for everyone, but certainly all those who agree with me that BH is the reigning vibes meistro, as well as those stuck in a seventies fusion time-warp, will want to have it.

..As I wait for WHOEVER has the rights to the Blue Note catalogue to reissue Bobby Hutcherson's finest (IMO) recording, the unheralded and lost in the shuffle "Knucklebean"(w/ George Cables (p), Freddie Hubbard(tpt, flgl),and unsung Manny Boyd (ts) and Eddie Marshall(drs) ,
I see Blue Notes' keepers have reissued MR Hutcherson's LA 70s Latin Jazz set, Montara!

Well,as for my dos centavos (and yours, pun intended), costing the "supersaver" budget price,
grab it, for the recording features 2 lovely compositions, worth to shell out the $12 US for these alone!

Ay madre ,
if you are a cigarette smoker, this cd is costing but 2 package US cigarettes,
money better spent to hear the lovely ballade "Montara" , and George Cables composition the slow cha-cha ,"Love Song" and keep your lungs carcinogen free and breath kissin' sweet, hehe.

As usual, Mr Hutcherson, who, IMO, eclipses the legendary Milt Jackson as the world's finest mallets master (vibes and marimba), a genius of the mallets.
~ The solo work of Bobby Hutcherson appears to have been underappreciated by even the "jazz mafia",
as intricate snaking 8th & 16 note runs NEVER deteriorate into scalework, but caress the melody and , as cliche dictates, "tells a musical story".
(ahhh, but ohhh, scalework~~Oliver Nelson's book, "Patterns for Jazz, abused!)

The "contribution" of modern musics schools to the new neoclassical , Marsalis -inspired BIG MAC assembly line musicians (who have gotten so many undeserved recording contracts in the last 20 years),scales and patterns replace lyrical melodic soloing too often in today's jazz"scene", but I fall away from my message)

No, no scalework, but lyrical and melodic lines, beautifully conceived.

So with the more workman like post Tito Puente items, here a listener is better served to listen to the incendiary 70s recordings of Eddie Palmieri, but there is nothing unlistenable on this cd.

KEEP a lookout for "Knucklebean", and "til then", enjoy and mine the catalogue of Bobby Hutcherson's cd catalogue !

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