Category Archives: Hard Bop

JACKIE MCLEAN-IT’S TIME!

Jackie McLean-It’s Time! Label: Blue Note Records-Tone Poet Series. Format: LP. When Jackie McLean and his band journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on August the ‘5th’ 1964, it was his fourteenth solo session for Blue Note Records and resulted in the album It’s Time! It which was recently reissued by …

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HORACE SILVER QUINTET-FURTHER EXPLORATIONS BY THE HORACE SILVER QUINTET.

Horace Silver Quintet-Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet. Label: Blue Note Records-Tone Poet Series. Format: LP. By 1950, composer and pianist Horace Silver was twenty-two and living in Hartford, Connecticut, where he had formed his own trio. They were already a familiar sight in the local clubs and are were quickly establishing a reputation …

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BOBBY HUTCHERSON-THE KICKER.

Bobby Hutcherson-The Kicker. Label: Blue Note Records-Tone Poet Series. Format: LP. Less than three years after Bobby Hutcherson made his recording debut, the twenty-three year old vibraphonist recorded his debut album The Kicker for Blue Note Records in 1963. This was the start of the most prolific period of his long and illustrious career.  Over …

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JIMMY SMITH WITH STANLEY TURRENTINE-PRAYER MEETIN’.

Jimmy Smith With Stanley Turrentine-Prayer Meetin’. Label: Blue Note Records-Tone Poet Series. Format: LP. When Jimmy Smith entered Van Gelder Studio on February the ‘8th’ 1963, he was about to record his fourth album in a week. This meant that he had fulfilled the terms of his contract with Blue Note and could sign with …

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DAWAN MUHAMMAD-DEEP STREAM.

Dawan Muhammad-Deep Stream. Label: High Jazz. Format: LP. By 1979, jazz wasn’t as popular as it was during the fifties and early sixties. That was the golden age for jazz, and saw countless classic albums released on labels like Blue Note, Verve and Impulse! These albums sold in large quantities and were profitable for the …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-JUST COOLIN’.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Just Coolin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. Although Philly-born tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s tenure with The Jazz Messengers was short-lived, he still played an important part in the development and history of the group. He joined in 1958, and during the summer, helped Art Blakey recruit three new Messengers. …

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KENNY DORHAM-TROMPETA TOCCATO.

Kenny Dorham-Trompeta Toccato. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: Vinyl. On December the ‘15th’ 1953, twenty-nine year old Texan trumpeter Kenny Dorham had already been a member of Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine and Lionel Hampton big bands and had joined Charlie Parker’s Quintet in December 1948. Less than five years later, and the sideman embarked upon …

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ANDREW HILL-SMOKE STACK.

Andrew Hill-Smoke Stack. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: Vinyl. By the time Chicago-born pianist Andrew Hill released his sophomore album Black Fire on Blue Note Records in 1964, he was already thirty-two, and was making up for lost time. He had only started to play the piano when he was thirteen but made rapid progress. …

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HANK MOBLEY-POPPIN’.

Hank Mobley-Poppin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Musically, Hank Mobley was a late starter, and first  picked up a saxophone was when he was sixteen, and suffering from an illness that meant he had to stay at home for several months. By then, he was living in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and was finding that the days …

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LEE MORGAN-THE RUMPROLLER.

Lee Morgan-The Rumproller. Label: Blue Note Records. In 1964, twenty-six year old hard bop trumpeter Lee Morgan’s career was transformed when he enjoyed a crossover hit with The Sidewinder. Instantly recognisable and incredibly catchy, it became a jazz standard and nowadays, is regarded as Lee Morgan’s best known composition. Buoyed by the success of the …

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JACKIE MCLEAN-A FICKLE SONANCE.

Jackie McLean-A Fickle Sonance. Label: Blue Note Records. On October the ’26th’ 1961, thirty year old alto-saxophonist Jackie McLean made the now familiar journey to the Van Gelder Studio, at 445 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record a new album with his quintet. The album became A Fickle Sonance, which was released in …

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GRANT GREEN-NIGERIA.

Grant Green-Nigeria. Label: Blue Note Records. On January the ’13th’ 1962 Grant Green journeyed to New Jersey, and what were by now the familiar environs of the Van Gelder Studio. He was twenty-five and had already recorded eight albums for Blue Note Records since he signed for the label in 1960. Grant Green had his …

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LEE MORGAN-THE COOKER.

Lee Morgan-The Cooker. Label: Blue Note Records. ’1st’ May 2020. When eighteen year old trumpeter Lee Morgan signed to Blue Note Records as a solo artist in 1956, he was already a prodigious talent and had the potential to become one of the greatest trumpeters of his generation. That talent was soon apparent. Introducing Lee …

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HERBIE HANCOCK-THE PRISONER.

Herbie Hancock-The Prisoner. Label: Blue Note Records.   In the summer of 1968 Herbie Hancock left Miles Davis Quintet to form his own group. This was a risky move, but one he felt he had to make to develop as a composer, bandleader and pianist. During the summer of 1968 Herbie Hancock also released his …

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SPIRITUAL JAZZ VOLUME 11: STEEPLECHASE.

Spiritual Jazz Volume 11: SteepleChase. Label: Jazzman.  In 1959, Anders Dyrup founded Jazzhus Montmartre, which was situated in Dahlerupsgade, in the Danish capital Copenhagen. On the opening night, American  clarinetist George Lewis had been booked to play and performed there for a fortnight. He was the first of many great jazz musicians who played at …

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DEXTER GORDON-A SWINGIN’ AFFAIR.

Dexter Gordon-A Swingin’ Affair. Label: Blue Note Records. Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was only seventeen  when he joined  Lionel Hampton’s band in 1940, and for the next three years, played alongside Illinois Jacquet and Marshal Royal. However, by 1944 he was a member of the Fletcher Henderson band before featuring in Louis Armstrong and Billy …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-BUHAINA’S DELIGHT. 

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Buhaina’s Delight. Label: Blue Note Records. By the time Art Blakey arrived at Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on the ‘28th’ of November 1961, he had just turned forty-two a month earlier, and had already established a reputation as one of the greatest jazz drummers of his …

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STANLEY TURRENTINE-COMIN’ YOUR WAY.

Stanley Turrentine-Comin’ Your Way. Label: Blue Note Records. When bandleader and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine entered Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, in New Jersey on January the ’20th’ 1961, he was twenty-six and about to record what would eventually become Comin’ Your Way.  It was the third time he had made this journey since he had signed …

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HIDETO SASAKI, TOSHIYUKI SEKINE QUARTET +1-STOP OVER.

Hideto Sasaki, Toshiyuki Sekine Quartet + 1–Stop Over. Label: BBE Music. Release Date: ‘27th’ March 2020. Ever since the sixties, rather than sign to a label, many artists and bands have released their albums as private pressings. However, the majority of the labels releasing private pressings during this didn’t have the same resources as the …

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