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.
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.