Bobby HUTCHERSON – Dialogue 1965

Bobby HUTCHERSON – Dialogue 1965
2002 Issue.

Jazz

Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson was among the most successful and appealing of the 1960s musicians who merged post-bop aesthetics with the experiments of free jazz. His 1965 album DIALOGUE is one of his best–melodic, adventurous, rigorously musical, and ever-searching. Hutcherson pushes the jazz envelope here while maintaining allegiance to structure and form. The insistent, Latin-tinged opener, “Catta,” is a case in point, a bold exploration set to percolating rhythms and a memorable theme. Some of the best players of the era–including trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist Sam Rivers, and pianist Andrew Hill–help make this classic even classier.
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Today Bobby Hutcherson is one of the established giants of mainstream modern jazz. But in 1965, He was on the cutting edge of experimentation, working with Jackie McLean, Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill and Archie Shepp. The personnel on Dialogue, his first album as a leader to be released, reads like a who’s who of the creative front in jazz at the time: trumpeter Freddie Hubbarrd, reedman Sam Rivers, pianist/composer Andrew Hill, bassist Richard Davis and drummer/composer Joe Chambers.
Rudy Van Gelder’s vivid recording style captures all nuances of this amazing album. Added to the original LP is Andrew Hill’s “Jasper” from the session.
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This CD, long out of print, is among the best avant-garde CDs put out by Blue Note records in the mid-60s — right up there with Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch and Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure. All 3 albums have the same exploratory, progressive attitude without forsaking swing or the blues. Things kick off with the demented mambo “Catta”. Composer Andrew Hill splashes dissonant piano chords over the dance rhythms, Sam Rivers blows fiery lines on the tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard shows off his avant-garde trumpet credentials, and then Bobby Hutcherson provides his spacy, cerebral vibraphone musings. Hill gets the same twisted, off-kilter feel on the blues “Ghetto Lights”. “Idle While” is an eerie Joe Chambers ballad. The two collective improvisations “Les Noirs Marchent” (set to a marching rhythm) and “Dialogue” are among the finest of their kind — instead of getting into a blowing cacophony, all six musicians listen carefully to each other and the music has a natural ebb and flow. Bassist Richard Davis’s playing holds the enterprise together, stretching and contracting as the music demand.
Dialogue is an essential listen for most fans of adventurous 60s jazz. If you like Dialogue, there are other Blue Note albums that should tickle your fancy: Out to Lunch (with Hutcherson, Davis, and Hubbard), Point of Departure (with Hill and Davis), Jackie McLean’s Let Freedom Ring, and Tony Williams’s Life Time (with Rivers, Davis and Hutcherson). Be sure to pick up Hutcherson’s Components (with Chambers and Hubbard) and Stick-Up as well.
By G.B.
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With much of Bobby Hutcherson’s transient Blue Note catalog slowly becoming scarce the reissue of perhaps his best session as part of the Rudy Van Gelder series is most welcome. The lineup features a virtual who’s-who of 1960s Blue Note post bop sessionmen. Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Sam Rivers (tenor sax, various), Hutcherson (vibes & marimba), Andrew Hill (piano), Richard Davis (bass), Joe Chambers (drums) effortlessly transition from straightahead bop sound into very “free” territory. Some express concern that “Dialogue” is on the adventerous side, but I find most of it to be very palatable. I’m only more impressed by how seamlessly the session comes together even with its more adventerous passages. The compositions on the album are split between Hill and Chambers and are extraodinary. The sound is probably the biggest selling point for this disc. The entire RVG series is spoken of with awe for how closely the CD’s sound to the original vinyl, and “Dialogue” continues that trend. The sound is warm with great physical spacing between the instruments.
“Dialogue” instantly becomes the point of entry for acquainting oneself with Bobby Hutcherson’s Blue Note work. Many thanks to the label for making it available again.
By Thomas AIKIN.
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Bobby Hutcherson- Vibes & Marimba
Freddie Hubbard- Trumpet
Sam Rivers- Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet & Flute
Andrew Hill- Piano
Richard Davis- Bass
Joe Chambers- Drums.
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01. Catta 7:19
02. Idle While 6:37
03. Les Noirs Marchant 6:41
04. Dialogue 9:59
05. Ghetto Lights 6:16
06. Jasper 8:29
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