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Tom 1960

Late 60's Early 70's Blue Note Lesser Known Gems

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I imagine this has been discussed here at some length prior, but I couldn't seem to find anything. While my collection of Blue Note releases is heavily weighted from the early/mid 50's to mid 1960's, a much smaller part is dedicated to the labels later sessions of the late 60's/very early 70's output. Yes, I own a couple Grant Green dates, Lee Morgan 's Live @ The Lighthouse among others. I've also picked up a couple of little gems recently which wouldn't be on someone's immediate radar but are quite good. Examp!e Lou Donaldson's Midnight Creeper and Duke Pearson's The Phantom. I guess what I am asking is what are some lesser known releases which deserve some love? I also just started listening to Jimmy McGriff's session The Worm, which gives you a better idea where I am headed. I am quite enjoying that!  Thoughts are always appreciated. Let me also add, it seems that the Blue Note Rare Groove Series could also be apart of the discussion since I am also curious about those releases from the same time period more or less.

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Tom if you enjoy Gene Harris the Live at the It Club volumes that Michael put out are worth hearing (I'm partial to the first volume as several tunes have the same arrangements as on prior studio recordings from years before which makes them interesting to compare/contrast since the group is no longer the original trio; the second one has a couple of Beatles covers that are ... Beatles covers.) 

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I guess it depends on how late in the 60's and how obscure.

Jackie McLean had three releases in 1967:  Action, Action, Action; New and Old Gospel; Demon's Dance.  These all feature good to great playing, and they seem somewhat obscure.  I remember trying to track down New and Old Gospel (with Ornette on trumpet) for many years before I finally obtained it.

McCoy Tyner's work for Blue Note came mainly after Coltrane's death, and perhaps only The Real McCoy is certifiably famous.

 

 

 

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Well, a great McCoy Tyner release in my mind circa 1970 on Blue Note would be the release Extensions. Not easily available, but well worth searching out for.  I guess while I'm at it Lou Donaldson's The Scorpion is another fine release.

Edited by Tom 1960

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R-9683191-1484697264-3026.jpeg.jpg

I got curious about this after reading Mark S.'s Jazz in Detroit, picked up a copy via this board. Definitely little-known, I like it but wouldn't go so far as to say "gem".

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If you're going for that organ groove, John Patton's records from this period are his best, imo.

Reuben Wilson and Lonnie Smith also did fine things for the label during this time as well.

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If you wanna go there, Love Call & New York Is Now. Ornette, Dewey, Garrison, and Elvin. Kinda mixed reviews in their time, mostly around Elvin not being insta-bend like Blackwell & Moffett, but that was then, and now is hey - Elvin.

And for that matter, ALL of Elvin's records from that time.

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1 hour ago, danasgoodstuff said:

If nothing else, I think Kenny Cox et al were among the first to fully digest what the 2nd Quintet was up to.  as far as a gem goes, I'd nominate this one:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Fever

Also, the US Conn CD reissue of the Kenny Cox combines both his Blue Note albums on one CD - and they're both pretty sweet.

Also, the US issue of Manhattan Fever on CD also includes a whole 'nother unreleased session, every bit as good as the main album.  Both are pretty top drawer, far as I'm concerned.

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Elvin Jones, 1968-1972, is killer stuff. For organ grooves, I'd go with Big John first. Lee Morgan's last album is important too.

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Hard to judge what is considered "lesser known".  McCoy Tyner made majestic records that sold nothing.   The Tyrone Washington album is great, especially the work of Joe Chambers on it.   Andrew Hill made what I consider his best albums.  Bobby Hutcherson recorded gems with Harold Land and others.  As mentioned, the Elvin Jones albums are wonderful, with 'Coalition' being a special favorite for me.  When Horace Silver skipped the vocals, he recorded really good albums.  The two Lee Morgan 2LP sets are awesome.  Wayne Shorter recorded beautifyul, challenging music.  Hank Mobley recorded some of the best albums of his career.  John Patton, especially, but also Reuben Wilson recorded some wonderful organ jazz.  Jackie McLean's 'Demons Dance" is classic.  Take whatever you consider to be "lesser known" from that list as my recommendations.

Edited by felser

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Yeah, good stuff.  Concerning Andrew Hill, I definitely regard Passing Ships as a little-known classic.  That was recorded in 1969, and incredibly not released until 2003.  

 

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Manhattan Fever on CD is one cut short on the 2nd session, unfortunately.

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5 hours ago, danasgoodstuff said:

 

Manhattan Fever on CD is one cut short on the 2nd session, unfortunately.

True. But it’s described as a short boogaloo, and arguably not as consequential.

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This is not exhaustive, but a few post-Lion sessions that I recommend are Bobby Hutcherson's "Total Eclipse" (superb cast and playing, though not a van Gelder recording, so deduct one point; the album transcends the lesser engineering) and his sessions with Harold Land, Joe Chambers and the rest. Wayne Shorter's "Odyssey Of Iska" is a good mood album. Anything by Duke Pearson (other than the ones with four singers).

With the departure of Al Lion, and Reid Miles's artwork, and the use of other recording studios, and the interference from Liberty, it wasn't the real Blue Note after late spring 1967. The artwork was very cheap and nasty: they could have retained the use of the album number inside the musical note.

The Blue Note Works series tells it all. Go onto Discogs and look at that series. The plan was to release everything, not just the same old favorites, and they put out all of the 1500, 40xx, 41xx series, and half of the 42xx series, but once you go beyond 4299, the issues thin out a lot.

Edited by Shrdlu

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Personally, I think the Forlenza Venosa Associates Blue Note covers are wonderful. A totally different esthetic than Miles, but they were bright, colorful (with real skin tones sometimes!), just an overall brighter, more "out in the open" look.

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Wayne Shorter, Lou Donaldson, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Bobby Hutcherson, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Turrentine, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Gene Harris, Donald Byrd, Grant Green - they are all Blue Note family, Alfred Lion/Francis Wolff family. After Alfred Lion left Blue Note in july 1967, Blue Note indeed hits a new note.

Try

Eddie Gale - Ghetto Music

Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra - Consummation

Jimmy McGriff - Electric Funk

Ronnie Foster - Two headed freap

Marlena Shaw - Who is this bitch, anyway?

Moacir Santos - Saudate

Alphone Mouzon - Mind transplant

Ronnie Laws - Fever

Eddie Henderson - Heritage

Earl Klugh - Living inside your love

and, of course

Bobbi Humphrey - Blacks and Blues

They have nothing to do with Alfred Lion.

The Worm by Jimmy McGriff is not really a Blue Note record, it was released on the Solid State label.

Edited by Son Of Ice Bag

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4 hours ago, JSngry said:

Personally, I think the Forlenza Venosa Associates Blue Note covers are wonderful. A totally different esthetic than Miles, but they were bright, colorful (with real skin tones sometimes!), just an overall brighter, more "out in the open" look.

I'm very partial to the later Patrick Roques covers.  Granted, Reid Miles was the originator, but I've long felt that Roques does Reid Miles even better than Reid Miles did.

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And Steve Grossman does Sonny Rollins better than Sonny Rollins.

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Columbia released several excellent Dave Brubeck LPs in 1965 through 1969. They are all available on CD except for "Compadres" and "The Last Time We Saw Paris". My favorite of this series is "Jackpot" recorded live in Las Vegas.

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This session, only issued as bonus tracks to the CDs for two albums Patton cut with Blood Ulmer.  Fine session, love to see it all together on vinyl.

John Patton Quartet

Marvin Cabell, soprano, tenor sax; George Coleman, tenor sax; John Patton, organ; Leroy Williams, drums.

Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 9, 1969
tk.5 Buddy Boy Blue Note CDP 7243 8 53924 2 9
tk.16 2 J -
tk.23 Man From Tanganyika Blue Note CDP 7243 8 35221 2 5
tk.25 Cissy Strut -
tk.30 Dragon Slayer -
tk.33 Sweet Pea Blue Note CDP 7243 8 53924 2 9

* Blue Note CDP 7243 8 53924 2 9   John Patton - Accent On The Blues   1997
* Blue Note CDP 7243 8 35221 2 5   John Patton - Memphis To New York Spirit   1996

It's interesting to me that Patton never recorded with Idris Muhammad who was all over BN (& Prestige) in those years.

Hank Mobley Sextet

Dizzy Reece, trumpet; Slide Hampton, trombone; Hank Mobley, tenor sax; Vince Benedetti, piano; Alby Cullaz, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums.

Barclay Studios, Paris, France, July 12, 1969
4804 tk.5 Early Morning Stroll Blue Note BST 84329
4805 tk.12 18th Hole -
4806 tk.18 Feelin' Folksy -
4807 tk.24 Snappin' Out -
4808 tk.26 The Flip -

* Blue Note BST 84329   Hank Mobley - The Flip   1969

Hank Mobley Sextet

Woody Shaw, trumpet; Hank Mobley, tenor sax; Cedar Walton, piano; Eddie Diehl, guitar; Mickey Bass, bass; Leroy Williams, drums.

Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 31, 1970
6734 tk.6 You Gotta Hit It Blue Note BST 84367
6735 tk.8 Justine -
6738 tk.10 Gayle's Groove -
6736 tk.18 Talk About Gittin' It -
6737 tk.23 Suite: Thinking Of Home / The Flight / Home At Last -

* Blue Note BST 84367, BST 84417   Hank Mobley - Thinking Of Home (not released)
= Blue Note LT-1045   Hank Mobley - Thinking Of Home   1980

As is so typical of BN during that period, the one issued right away is good but the one that didn't come out for a decade is great.

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I wonder if Fred Jackson’s or Sonny Red Kyner’s dates would be considered lesser known? I’d have to think the Lou Mecca one certainly is. 

Edited by Brad

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Introducing the Duke Pearson Big Band was a strong album. I also happen to be a fan of Horace's United States of Mind albums, although that seems to be a controversial subject. ;)

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