Tag Archives: Alfred Lion

HANK MOBLEY-SOUL STATION

Hank Mobley-Soul Station. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. It was Leonard Feather, the British-born jazz pianist, composer, producer and music writer who described Hank Mobley as the: “middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone.” This metaphor made sense to critics and connoisseurs of jazz.  His tone was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBY HUTCHERSON-OBLIQUE.

Cult Classic: Bobby Hutcherson-Oblique. On July the ‘21st’ 1967, Bobby Hutcherson journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record Oblique which was his sixth solo album for Blue Note Records. It was just the second album he had recorded with a quartet.  The first was Happenings, an album of modal hard bop …

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CULT CLASSIC: JIMMY SMITH WITH STANLEY TURRENTINE-PRAYER MEETIN’.

Cult Classic: Jimmy Smith With Stanley Turrentine-Prayer Meetin’. 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 Verve. The album he was about …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-MOANIN’.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Moanin’. 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. They …

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CULT CLASSIC: HORACE SILVER QUINTET-FURTHER EXPLORATIONS BY THE HORACE SILVER QUINTET.

Cult Classic: Horace Silver Quintet-Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet. 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 as one of the up-and-coming jazz …

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CULT CLASSIC: JACKIE MCLEAN-IT’S TIME!

Cult Classic: Jackie McLean-It’s Time! 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 featured a new band and saw him revisit his old …

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CULT CLASSIC: STANLEY TURRENTINE-THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT.

Cult Classic: Stanley Turrentine-That’s Where It’s At. In September 1962, twenty-eight year old saxophonist Stanley Turrentine released That’s Where It’s At which was his fifth album for Blue Note Records.  It was his much-anticipated followup to Dearly Beloved which at the time, many critics hailed as his finest album. That’s Where It’s At had  a …

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DONALD BYRD-BYRD IN FLIGHT.

Donald Byrd-Byrd In Flight. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. When Donald Byrd signed to Blue Note Records in 1958, he was twenty-five and had already recorded five solo albums and had collaborated on albums with Art Farmer, Phil Woods and Gigi Gryce.  The Detroit-born trumpeter was also in demand as a sideman and had …

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LEE MORGAN-THE RAJAH.

Lee Morgan-The Rajah. Label: Blue Note Records. Format LP. 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 …

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HERBIE HANCOCK-MY POINT OF VIEW.

Herbie Hancock-My Point Of View. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. By the time Herbie Hancock signed to Blue Note Records, the Chicago-born pianist was just twenty-two, and had already worked with Donald Byrd and Coleman Hawkins. On May the ‘28th’ 1962, he recorded his debut solo album Takin’ Off which featured the jazz standard …

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CULT CLASSIC: ANDREW HILL-SMOKE STACK.

Cult Classic: Andrew Hill-Smoke Stack. 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. Earl Hines    spotted …

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CULT CLASSIC: ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-JUST COOLIN’.

Cult: Classic: Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Just Coolin’. 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. They were all from …

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CULT CLASSIC: KENNY DORHAM-TROMPETA TOCCATO.

Cult Classic: Kenny Dorham-Trompeta Toccato. 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 a solo career when …

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CULT CLASSIC: HANK MOBLEY-POPPIN’.

Cult Classic: Hank Mobley-Poppin’. 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 were long …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEE MORGAN-THE RUMPROLLER.

Cult Classic: Lee Morgan-The Rumproller. 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 single, Blue Note …

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CULT CLASSIC: PETE LA ROCA-BASRA. 

Cult Classic: Pete La Roca-Basra. Sadly, Pete La Roca’s career is another case of what might have been. The New York born jazz drummer only released a triumvirate of solo albums during an eventful career that promised much.  During the early years of his career he worked with Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Tony Scott, Bill …

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CULT CLASSIC: LEE MORGAN-THE COOKER.

Cult Classic: Lee Morgan-The Cooker. 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 Morgan. On November the ‘4th’ …

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CULT CLASSIC: DEXTER GORDON-A SWINGIN’ AFFAIR.

Cult Classic: Dexter Gordon-A Swingin’ Affair. 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 Eckstine’s bands. …

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CULT CLASSIC: ART TAYLOR-A.T.’S DELIGHT.

Cult Classic: Art Taylor-A.T.’s Delight. One of the most influential drummers in the history of jazz is Art Taylor, who was born in New York, on the ‘6th’ of April 1929, and as a teenager, played in a local Harlem-based band that featured pianist Kenny Drew and saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Jackie McLean. Each of these …

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CULT CLASSIC: STANLEY TURRENTINE-COMIN’ YOUR WAY.

Cult Classic: Stanley Turrentine-Comin’ Your Way. 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 to Blue …

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