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jmjk

Andrew Hill - Passing Ships

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Thanks to the fine folks at cduniverse.com, I received my package an hour ago!

I'm listening to Priester solo on the title track right now. So far, so good. AND...the arrangements are not too overblown!

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I assume these are definitely not copy protected, then?

Thanks,

Bertrand.

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I see nothing on the sleeve that states anything about copy protection, so I'm assuming they aren't.

"The Brown Queen" is my favorite track after one complete pass. A great head and some nice blowin' by Woody Shaw---least I think it's Woody, it doesn't sound like Dizzy Reece.

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Where does cduniverse ship from? I'm waiting for a package from them.

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My package had a Wallingford, CT return address. They may have warehouses in different parts of the US, however.

Further to Bertrand's question, I just read the liners, and the inside-back page includes the following statement:

Thank you for buying this music and for supporting the artists, songwriters, musicians and others who've created it and made is possible. Please remember that this recording and artwork are protected by copyright law. Since you don't own the copyright, it's not yours to distribute. Please don't use internet services that promote the illegal distribution of copyrighted music, give away illegal copies of discs or lend discs to others for copying. It's hurting the artists who created the music. It has the same effect as stealing a disc from a store wthout paying for it. Applicable laws provide severe and criminal penalties for the unauthorized reproduction, distribution and digital transmission of copyrighted sound recordings.

To find legal downloads visit www.musicfromemi.com

Edited by jmjk

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jmjk,

Thanks for posting that. I guess they still are not doing the protection thing, at least for now.

Please tell me 'affect' is a typo on your part, not on theirs!

Bertrand.

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I've had very good service from CD Universe. I will be purchasing my Conn's from their website soon. The initial price is $12.59 per CD. I believe they will maintain this price for X number of days/weeks. The price will then be raised.

Damn. I've still not opened nor listened to my copy of Point of Departure (and I've had it for a year!). :tdown

Edited by wesbed

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That pious liner statement is total rubbish, as the artists don't get anything from these reissues of old recordings. My evidence? Someone recently got McCoy Tyner to autograph their copy of the RVG of "The Real McCoy". The guy said to McCoy that it's a very popular album. "I wish I got some royalties from it", groaned McCoy.

And what of reissues of Hank Mobley albums? I don't think Hank had a family of his own, so who would get the royalties if any were paid out?

Now, the artists may get royalties from new releases (that is, recent sessions being put out for the first time). And I'm sure that "In Sink" and the other pop stars get royalties.

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McCoy should be getting royalties for his five compositions on the CD, but otherwise, you are correct, they get no other payment (neither leader nor sidemen).

If he is not getting royalties for his compositions, then either the person administering his publishing, or more likely EMI, is not doing their job.

Hank Mobley's heir was his father, who lived very long - although I suspect he has passed away by now. I believe he had Hank very young. Hank may have had some half-siblings as well.

Bertrand.

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jmjk,

Thanks for posting that. I guess they still are not doing the protection thing, at least for now.

Please tell me 'affect' is a typo on your part, not on theirs!

Bertrand.

The typo is my own, Bertrand---and it's so funny that I made that mistake. While I was typing it, I thought to myself, "at least the tech writer knows the difference between AFFECT and EFFECT"...and look what happened!

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I won't be hasty in judging this one. I'm still becoming accustomed to the rather larger-than-I'm-used to Andrew Hill group, which seems even larger, based on the number of instruments involved (two bass clarinet players, alto flute, French horn, English horn...). Hill's playing strikes me as primative-funky, even more than usual. Priester and Farrell have never been my favorites, but I'm being open-minded. I think.

It does strike me as odd that this sat in the can for so long. But stranger things have happened.

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McCoy should be getting royalties for his five compositions on the CD, but otherwise, you are correct, they get no other payment (neither leader nor sidemen).

If he is not getting royalties for his compositions, then either the person administering his publishing, or more likely EMI, is not doing their job.

Hank Mobley's heir was his father, who lived very long - although I suspect he has passed away by now. I believe he had Hank very young. Hank may have had some half-siblings as well.

Bertrand.

As I understand it, BN pays a royalty to all artists/estates for everything sold. It is the responsibility of the artists/estates to inform the label of their current address and rightful status. Remember Tom's story about finding Jutta Hipp and delivering the check. Musicians "always" say they don't get anything.

Believe me, deciding where to send the money is no easy question. I have had problems and I only started my label in 1967. I have at least 4 estates in dispute, and only 2 have contacted me.

The above concerns "artist royalty" only - composer royalty is automatic to the Fox agency and they must hold tons of money waiting for the correct address/heir.

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As I understand it, BN pays a royalty to all artists/estates for everything sold. It is the responsibility of the artists/estates to inform the label of their current address and rightful status. Remember Tom's story about finding Jutta Hipp and delivering the check. Musicians "always" say they don't get anything.

Believe me, deciding where to send the money is no easy question. I have had problems and I only started my label in 1967. I have at least 4 estates in dispute, and only 2 have contacted me.

The above concerns "artist royalty" only - composer royalty is automatic to the Fox agency and they must hold tons of money waiting for the correct address/heir.

Chuck,

What happens if an artist to whom you're paying royalties, or an heir of that artist, cannot be found? Do you need to submit legal documentation proving that you've attempted to locate someone for X number of years without success, and then turn the royalties over to a state Unclaimed Funds bureau?

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I won't be hasty in judging this one. I'm still becoming accustomed to the rather larger-than-I'm-used to Andrew Hill group, which seems even larger, based on the number of instruments involved (two bass clarinet players, alto flute, French horn, English horn...).

I thought it was an odd sort of approach, at first. But I think it's pulled off pretty well. The session sounds like a hard bop date in a rich, but soft technicolor. It's intimate and smooth, yet strong, without being overbearing.

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I picked this one up after work and put it on my DiskMan.

Man, I didn't even want to get home.

This is the shit, people. There is some brilliant music here, absolutely brilliant!

How this one didn't get reissued until now makes no sense at all.

That groove in Plantation Bag is not ever going to leave my short term memory. The title track is sublime. So is Noon Tide.

I say that we work to get Andrew back together with Lenny White. It WORKS.

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So far this is the pick of the Conn litter for me. But I've only listened to them once, and only had time to sample some of Sonic Boom. The Flip sounds much better; it'll never be one of Mobley's top five albums but now I can listen to it and appreciate it without sonic pain. The Hill sounds very intriguing; nice arrangements that manage to sound full and colorful yet uncluttered and somehow airy. Not like a "big band" sound at all, to these ears, even though it IS a big band in size, by jazz standards. Seems like another amazing, unissued Blue Note gem from the vaults, but I'll have to play it much more.

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As an admitted Andrew Hill fanatic, I felt it was my obligation to give my thoughts on this disc. I only had a chance to listen to it once. It is a worthwhile recording, but not on the same level as Hill's mid sixties recordings. It does not have the same edge. The compositions and overall mood are not as complex, or challenging as on his earlier recordings. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is clear that with the larger ensemble of one reed (Farrell) two trumpets (Woody Shaw and Dizzy Reece), Julian Priester, (trombone) Bob Northern (french horn), Howard Johnson (tuba, bass clarinet), Ron Carter (bass) and Lenny White (drums) Hill was concentrating on simpler material and the arrangements. The principal soloists are strong throughout and the album as a whole is well worthy of its release. With that said, I can see why Blue Note did not issue it earlier since it is noticeably less adventurous than his earlier recordings and more closely aligned with recordings such as those found on the seventies double LP, One For One.

I need to listen to it a few more times, but my initial impression is a favorable one if not as overwhelmed as recordings like Black Fire, Judgment, Andrew!! and Point of Departure.

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The more I hear about this one, the more I'm excited to hear it. I'm a Hill fan, but.... I'm not a musical genius, simplification of his concept might do me good.

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I definitely think PASSING SHIPS highlights the more melodic, less "dark" side of Hill's work, but to my ears calling it less "complex" than his mid-60's dates is not accurate. Some of the arrangements are frankly astonishing in their complexity, ever-shifting and as the liners correctly point out many of the little bits woven in and out of the "main" melody line are like mini-compositions in themselves. They are also amazing in that Hill captures the weight afforded by having a larger ensemble at his disposal (particularly with the savvy inclusion of the tuba) while maintaining an incredible sense of space and air and lightness. As I mentioned, despite the nine piece configuration, this music is much brighter/lighter/airier than some of his smaller group work (e.g. SMOKESTACK, BLACK FIRE), which in the mid-60's had a decidedly heavy, dark flavor.

The difference I hear between this session and some of his other LATER 60's dates is that while they all have a "sunnier" disposition, on PASSING SHIPS Hill's compositions are uniformly superior, and he's for some reason gotten much more passionate and sympathetic performances out of the musicians (the right mix of guys? better rehearsal? blind luck?). Not to sell short excellent dates like GRASS ROOTS and LIFT EVERY VOICE, but for me PASSING SHIPS gets the edge for those main reasons.

So overall I agree very much with BruceH's assessment of the music, which I just went back and re-read more carefully. I would give PASSING SHIPS two thumbs WAY up, easily up with his best work and rivaling POINT OF DEPARTURE in terms of compositional quality. In fact, it makes a nice, on the surface "friendlier" companion to sit alongside that darker, outwardly more "difficult" masterpiece. But first impressions will deceive, and PASSING SHIPS is definitely in the same league musically.

If nothing else, hearing this date simply drives home how important it is for Mr. Cuscuna to periodically revisit some of the dates in the BN vault that sounded to him on first listen to be "train wrecks" (he notes PASSING SHIPS was one of those for him initially, although he was also listening to a rough mix that basically omitted several of the instruments, which could barely be heard in bleed over echo). Time to once again dust off the Tyrone Washington "train wreck" session tapes, anyone?

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I definitely think PASSING SHIPS highlights the more melodic, less "dark" side of Hill's work, but to my ears calling it less "complex" than his mid-60's dates is not accurate.

That is a fair characterization and I probably do not disagree with you. "Complex" may have been the wrong word. I definately agree it is not as dark as some of his earlier recordings and it is certainly more accessible.

By the way you did not mention Dance With Death, which IMO has passionate support from Farrell and Charles Tolliver as well as some of Hill's best compositions. Now when will Blue Note reissue that one?

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Ah, DANCE WITH DEATH is another great one and a personal favorite. You're right, the playing is just as passionate, but there I do think Hill's composing was not quite as uniformly excellent as on PASSING SHIPS (although a few of the cuts on that one are among my favorites of his - "Yellow Violet" in particular is one that I will get in my head and can't get out for days). I'm glad you mentioned that one too, because it actually is "darker" than most of his dates from around that time, almost a throwback to the feeling of the earlier dates.

It's all kind of nitpicking, though, because I have yet to hear a truly bad Andrew Hill album, or even one that is short of excellent.

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Y'all really like DANCE WITH DEATH that much? Doesn't do too much for me, not in Andrew Hill terms anyway. Farrell's soloing lacks the rhythmic flexibility and general tonal and coloristic looseness that brings out the best in Hill's work for me. Same for Victor Sproles, who in turn seems to dampen Billy's fire. DWD is certainly not a BAD record by any means, but I've had it since Day One and it still doesn't get me. But different strokes, fersure. It's still Andrew Hill, and that's enough to get the car started. How far I want to drive it is another matter, but at least the damn thing starts, which is NOT something to take for granted.

Frankly, all of what's been released of GRASS ROOTS & beyond BN Hill seems to have this more restrained rhythm section (and more) thing going on. Whether or not that was by design I can't say, and sometimes it works for me better (ONE FOR ONE & LIFT EVERY VOICE) than others (DWD & the originally released GRASS ROOTS), but in the end I think it hinders the fullest realization of the implications of the tunes (and those tunes are overflowing with implications). Fotunately - for my tastes anyway - it seems to have just been a phase. But it might also explain why a bunch of stuff still sits in the can. A music like Hill's BEGS to be played with a certain amount of spontaneous subjectivity (call it "abandon" if you like, but that's too broad a word for what I'm thinking), and too much restraint/control renders it purely objective. It's certainly a fascinating object, but it just FEELS like something you should be bathing in, not looking at, and TOO much of it leaves me uncomfortable, like I'm chewing but not tasting, and never swallowing. The right balance, though, makes for a very pleasant voyeuristic thrill, like you know you're not getting the full deal, but what you ARE getting is quite satisfying in its own right.

And I'm hoping that's what PASSING SHIPS turns out to be (or better!). Lenny White was NOT a drummer to be restrained in those days. Ron Carter, that's the wildcard for me. If he came to play, it'll all be good. If not... Like everybody else, I'll know for sure when the thing gets here. I'm liking the comments about the arrangements, though. That's REALLY piqued my curiosity.

We shall see. Hopes are VERY high for this one based on the comments here, as well as my own drooling at the personnel and concept.

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Frankly, all of what's been released of GRASS ROOTS & beyond BN Hill seems to have this more restrained rhythm section (and more) thing going on. Whether or not that was by design I can't say, and sometimes it works for me better (ONE FOR ONE & LIFT EVERY VOICE) than others (DWD & the originally released GRASS ROOTS), but in the end I think it hinders the fullest realization of the implications of the tunes (and those tunes are overflowing with implications).

I would have to agree with this assessment. And that is also why BLACK FIRE is sitll my favorite Hill session. I don't think Roy Haynes conribution to that record has ever been appreciated to the extent it should.

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I'm certainly no Hill expert, as the only other album of his I have is Point of Departure (I managed to miss the Mosaic). But I like what I'm hearing on Passing Ships, whether or not it's prime Hill.

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If nothing else, hearing this date simply drives home how important it is for Mr. Cuscuna to periodically revisit some of the dates in the BN vault that sounded to him on first listen to be "train wrecks" (he notes PASSING SHIPS was one of those for him initially, although he was also listening to a rough mix that basically omitted several of the instruments, which could barely be heard in bleed over echo). Time to once again dust off the Tyrone Washington "train wreck" session tapes, anyone?

Good point. :tup

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