Oct 2, 2012

Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (1964)

http://redirect.viglink.com?key=7f4b0b133ef875ccddfa32e340a55e1e&type=bk&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp4840.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xbreaking%2Bpoint%2Blp%2Bhubbard.TRS0%26_nkw%3Dbreaking%2Bpoint%2Blp%2Bhubbard%26_sacat%3D0
1964's Breaking Point is one of Freddie's best modal workouts, and "Far Away" is one of my favorite 10 minute workout's of Freddie's career.

The exotic Middle Eastern motif provides a modal workout vehicle for Hubbard and altoist James Spaulding, and they do not disappoint.

 Freddie sure does have a confident brash style, It would be hard to argue at this point that Freddie was the best trumpeter in jazz, even with Lee Morgan still in his prime at this point.

 James Spaulding is also an underrated player, and plays well in bop or free bop settings. Joe Chambers is also a drummer of note, who excels in an avant gard setting. He also is a composer of note, he composed half of Bobby Hutcherson's Components Blue Note album.

Side 1 of Breaking Point has two 10 minute plus tracks, the title track as well as the mentioned middle eastern tinged "Far Away," the title track is sort of a sectioned avant-garde piece, they even throw in some Caribbean sounds into the mix.

Side 2 has more of a traditional hard bop flavor, still inside out a little, but "D-Minor Mint" is one of the better tracks in Hubbard's discography.

The pictured Breaking Point vinyl copy is a late 70's white b reissue, It can be had for about 30 bucks. This copy sounded pretty good, I would like to find a NY USA copy at decent price.

If you're a Blue Note fanatic like I am, perhaps you will enjoy what I have to say about my collecting journey on one my other blogs about Vintage Blue Note Records.

Oct 1, 2012

George Russell: Electric Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature-1968 (1969)

George Russel Fusion Jazz
If you are into free and avant gard jazz, and think George Russell is one the Masters of forward thinking jazz, congratulations, you and I may be the only 2 who do.

All joking aside, George Russell is one of the giants in the history of jazz that the passing listener surely has not heard of.

Russell(1923-2009) was an important figure in the development of modern jazz.

 His Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization became an important work in the development of modal jazz, which directly or indirectly influenced Miles Davis and his masterpiece Kind of Blue.

Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature is probably George's masterpiece of avant-garde music, and what I like is the plethora of European musicians who are cutting their teeth on the album, it really is a who's who. Guitarist Terje Rypdal, tenor saxophonist Jan Garbarek, and John Christenson on drums.

Russell throws in everything but the kitchen sink on the suite, jazz, classical, blues, and world musics, but the real ground breaking stuff is the electronic sounds, very reminiscent of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Personally I find the music very entertaining, it is not the type of music that you are going to understand with one listen, Music like this takes several spins to absorb, it's almost like getting different albums for the price of one.

I would say the oddest thing for me on the album is the operatic vocals in certain sections, and it took a while for me to warm to them.

George Russell has many small group recording well worth exploring, Ezz-thetics, Stratusphunk, and The Outer View.

Ezz-thetics featuring the alto saxophonist Eric Dolphy. many of those early 60's albums also feature the trumpeter and soon to be orchestra leader Don Ellis.

My personal favorites from Russell are, Othello Suite, Verticle Form V, and the aforementioned Ezz-thetics.

Lastly Russell recorded a remake of Electric Sonata that was released in 1980 on the Soul Note Label, it features almost an entirely different cast of musicians.

If you are someone who looks for new styles of music, that challenges your mind, and is not always easily digestible,  George Russell is definitely worth exploring.

 If your familiar with John Zorn's Work, I think You'll find Russell intriguing. Russell's musical core though is his bop roots, and he never seems to far away from them


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