On the heels of the long-awaited reissue of recently-departed jazz pianist Andrew Hill's 1966 "Compulsion" by Blue Note comes a batch of Connoisseur Series reissues that includes the session Hill recorded for Blue Note right after. "Change," was recorded in March 1966 and extended the free form Hill tinkered with on "Compulsion."
You may recall that Milwaukee jazz guitarist Jack Grassel suggested that Joe Chambers' straightforward drumming was what seemed to hold "Compulsion" back a little. For this session, Hill chose Archie Shepp/Don Cherry sideman J.C. Moses (in what would be the drummer's only Blue Note appearance), pushing this session into much more avant garde territory. With Sam Rivers on tenor and bassist Walter Booker, it's a mystery why this session languished for a decade before Blue Note issued it under Rivers' name. The label had assigned a catalog number for the record at the time of the session and seemed poised to issue it even though a cover was never designed for it back then. Luckily, it's back now!
Also in the batch are a reissue of 1969's "Introducing Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quartet" with the group's 1970 "Multidirection" as the bonus material. The Detroit group, led by pianist Cox, had cut its teeth backing visiting stars and these rare discs have been much sought-after by collectors.
Jimmy Smith's "Straight Life" is the last of the great organist's trio sessions to be released by Blue Note. It features guitarist Quentin Warren and drummer Donald Bailey and was recorded in 1961, just a couple years before Smith left to record full-time for Verve. Here, Smith and company riff through "Star Dust," Gershwin's "Swanee" and a clutch of similar numbers, along with a couple originals and Coleman Hawkins' fine "Stuffy."
"A Bluish Bag" is the first of two CDs collecting the unissued 1967 sessions of tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. Seven of these 12 tracks were issued in the mid-to-late '70s but are reunited here …Read more...