Medina was another Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet session that didn't see the light of day until over a decade later (recorded in 1969, issued in 1980). Again, it's hard to see why, given the high quality of both the group and their music, which seemed to get lost in the shuffle of jazz's late-'60s upheaval. Granted, it may have been a shade less distinctive than Hutcherson's earliest sessions, but the levels of composition and execution remained top-notch.
Moody material from Bobby Hutcherson – and one of the first records to feature his vibes in the company of tenorist Harold Land – a player who would help Hutcherson make some mighty fine music over the years! The set's got a super-hip group – with Stanley Cowell on piano, giving the record a warm, spiritual undercurrent – one that works perfectly with the lyrical soul of Land's horn. Other players include Reggie Johnson on bass and Joe Chambers on drums – and titles include "Spiral", "Ruth", "Poor People's March", and "Visions". The album also includes one more track – "Jasper" – which was recorded in a 1965 session without Land and Cowell – but with Sam Rivers on tenor and bass clarinet, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Andrew Hill on piano! Recorded in the 60s, but only initially issued on vinyl in 1979!
An entirely worthy Bobby Hutcherson LP that went unissued until 1980, Patterns finds the vibist working in typically challenging territory; what makes this session distinctive is that it features some of drummer and favorite Hutcherson composer Joe Chambers' most structured work, though that hardly means it's traditional or unadventurous. Four of the six pieces are Chambers'; the others are by altoist/flautist James Spaulding (the pensive Martin Luther King tribute "A Time to Go") and pianist Stanley Cowell (the warmly melodic waltz "Effi," dedicated to his wife).
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Featuring the work of obscure composer/pianist Todd Cochrane, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 1971 album Head On is a highly cerebral and atmospheric affair that is somewhat different than his other equally experimental '70s work. Although the album does feature more of the avant-garde jazz that Hutcherson was exploring during this period, Cochrane's material is heavily influenced by contemporary classical music, and accordingly Head On is more of an exercise in reflective, layered jazz than rambunctious freebop – though it does offer some of that, too.
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Bobby Hutcherson's second quartet session, Oblique, shares both pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Joe Chambers with his first, Happenings (bassist Albert Stinson is a newcomer). However, the approach is somewhat different this time around. For starters, there's less emphasis on Hutcherson originals; he contributes only three of the six pieces, with one from Hancock and two from the typically free-thinking Chambers. And compared to the relatively simple compositions and reflective soloing on Happenings, Oblique is often more complex in its post-bop style and more emotionally direct (despite what the title may suggest).
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Drummer Eddie Marshall never cut many albums as a leader, but we'll always love him for this one – a sublime San Francisco 70s session that features tremendous vibes from the great Bobby Hutcherson! But actually, the whole group's great – and also includes George Cables on piano, James Leary on bass, and Manny Boyd on tenor and soprano sax – who works alongside Hutcherson's vibes with some of the same soulful currents as Harold Land from earlier years! The tunes are well-paced – mostly by Marshall, with a slight undercurrent of spirituality – and a lyrical beauty that almost has Bobby in "Little B's Poem" territory at times.
In Memoriam. By 1980, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson had evolved from a member of the avant-garde into a top exponent of the modern mainstream. This excellent album (mostly originals and obscurities but highlighted by an inventive version of Bud Powell's classic title cut) features Hutcherson with a top notch all-star group also including guitarist John Abercrombie, keyboardist George Cables, electric bassist Chuck Domanico and drummer Peter Erskine. Pity that this fine set has been long out-of-print.
Spanish group Medina Azahara was formed in 1979 by singer Manuel Martinez, guitarist Miguel Galan, drummer José Antonio Molina, bassist Manuel Molina, and keyboardist Pablo Rabadan. That same year, the band signed with CBS, issuing a self-titled album produced by Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo that featured their first hit, a song called "Paseando por la Mezquita."…