Idle Moments Grant Green

Album Info

Album Veröffentlichung:
1963

HRA-Veröffentlichung:
18.04.2014

Label: Blue Note Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Hard Bop

Das Album enthält Albumcover

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  • 1Idle Moments14:54
  • 2Jean De Fleur06:50
  • 3Django08:43
  • 4Nomad12:16
  • Total Runtime42:43

Info zu Idle Moments

It was always a part of Blue Note's development and marketing to introduce new artists as sidemen on more well-known leaders' projects before giving them dates of their own. The system worked pretty well, and the irony is that a release like 1963's „Idle Moments“ looks likes more of an all-star session in retrospect. Sure, we get to hear Grant Green stretching out. But we also get Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson, who were just winning their first Downbeat polls at the time. Green himself had come through this system, appearing with organ combos and on other hard bop sessions, before graduating to his own Blue Note dates.

„Idle Moments“ may be one of his finest dates in the studio, simply on the strength of the elegant melancholy of the title cut and the deep groove the band settles into on "Django." Green's playing has much in common with that of such labelmates as saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and pianist Gene Harris. He manages to bring solid bebop sensibilities to a spare, down-home approach and delivers it all with an oaken tone at once dry, dark, and full of character.

Grant Green, guitar
Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone
Duke Pearson, piano
Bob Cranshaw, bass
Al Harewood, drums

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 4 & 11, 1963
Produced by Alfred Lion

Digitally remastered


Grant Green
was born in St. Louis on June 6, 1931, learned his instrument in grade school from his guitar-playing father and was playing professionally by the age of thirteen with a gospel group. He worked gigs in his home town and in East St. Louis, IL, until he moved to New York in 1960 at the suggestion of Lou Donaldson. Green told Dan Morgenstern in a Down Beat interview: "The first thing I learned to play was boogie-woogie. Then I had to do a lot of rock & roll. It's all blues, anyhow."

His extensive foundation in R&B combined with a mastery of bebop and simplicity that put expressiveness ahead of technical expertise. Green was a superb blues interpreter, and his later material was predominantly blues and R&B, though he was also a wondrous ballad and standards soloist. He was a particular admirer of Charlie Parker, and his phrasing often reflected it. Green played in the '50s with Jimmy Forrest, Harry Edison, and Lou Donaldson.

He also collaborated with many organists, among them Brother Jack McDuff, Sam Lazar, Baby Face Willette, Gloria Coleman, Big John Patton, and Larry Young. During the early '60s, both his fluid, tasteful playing in organ/guitar/drum combos and his other dates for Blue Note established Green as a star, though he seldom got the critical respect given other players. He was off the scene for a bit in the mid-'60s, but came back strong in the late '60s and '70s. Green played with Stanley Turrentine, Dave Bailey, Yusef Lateef, Joe Henderson, Hank Mobley, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones.

Sadly, drug problems interrupted his career in the '60s, and undoubtedly contributed to the illness he suffered in the late '70s. Green was hospitalized in 1978 and died a year later. Despite some rather uneven LPs near the end of his career, the great body of his work represents marvelous soul-jazz, bebop, and blues.

A severely underrated player during his lifetime, Grant Green is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz guitar. Like Stanley Turrentine, he tends to be left out of the books. Although he mentions Charlie Christian and Jimmy Raney as influences, Green always claimed he listened to horn players (Charlie Parker and Miles Davis) and not other guitar players, and it shows. No other player has this kind of single-note linearity (he avoids chordal playing). There is very little of the intellectual element in Green's playing, and his technique is always at the service of his music. And it is music, plain and simple, that makes Green unique.

Green's playing is immediately recognizable -- perhaps more than any other guitarist. Green has been almost systematically ignored by jazz buffs with a bent to the cool side, and he has only recently begun to be appreciated for his incredible musicality. Perhaps no guitarist has ever handled standards and ballads with the brilliance of Grant Green. Mosaic, the nation's premier jazz reissue label, issued a wonderful collection The Complete Blue Note Recordings with Sonny Clark, featuring prime early '60s Green albums plus unissued tracks. Some of the finest examples of Green's work can be found there. ~ Michael Erlewine and Ron Wynn

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