Saturday, April 19, 2008

Andrew Hill - Grass Roots

( Naar de Nederlandse vertaling.)
On the 5th of August 1968 Andrew Hill recorded his album Grass Roots. It was released originally as a Blue Note LP, featuring five tracks, all Andrew Hill compositions. Andrew Hill explains in the liner notes about the meaning of the title. He says, that he is now at a point in his life in which he has no longer an inner urge to develop his music with each new record he makes, what may or may not be hip now or in the future. I want to give something. I want to reach out from myself to make people happy who listen to it. That's what grass roots are in music. Getting down to the basics, getting down as deep as you can into feeling.
He explains that he walked along Central Park and saw the animals. People label animals as naive, but how naive are human beings? With all our intellectual bagage we forgot to be naive now and then, to enjoy the simple things in life. And then I saw some kids playing together in the park. They were of different races, but they were having a great time. There was no malice, bo animosity among them. That explains the two kids in front of the record. Where they were, the way they were acting, are to me the real roots of mankind.
Andrew Hill started his musical career in the 1950s with musicans like Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin and during the 1960s he toured with Dinah Washington and Johnny Hartman, both singers of course. He worked with Roland Kirk and Joe Henderson and made numerous records for Blue Note. He plays the piano in a kind of groovy style, with catchy tunes, soulfull music as we know from musicians like Lou Donaldson. On this album, Grass Roots, Andrew Hill performes with a quintet, featuring Lee Morgan on trumpet, Booker Ervin at the tenor saxophone, Andrew Hill at the piano, Ron Carter at the bass and Freddie Waits drums. For me, the title tune is not his strongest one of the album. I like Mira, that became a hit. Mira means in Spanish Look! Come See! he explains, a shout he often heard in the neighbourhood where he lived on the West Side of New York.
Blue Note reissued this album on a Connoisseur CD with a previous unreleased session by Andrew Hill, recorded the 19th of April 1968, fourty years ago, which has most of the same tunes, but performed by an entirely different group, the Andrew Hill Sextet with Woody Shaw on trumpet, Frank Mitchell tenor saxophone, Andrew Hil at the piano of course, Jimmy Ponder at the guitar, Reggie Workman on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums. The tunes Veinture Inward ( which means what is says: the exploring of the self), Soul Special and Bayou Red, a tribute to the different "gens de couleur", colored people in and around New Orleans. These tracks have more soul elements, a more steady groove ( I miss the Hammond), maybe because Jimmy Ponder and Idris Muhammad originally were Lou Donaldson musicians. All these 40 years old tunes were never released and there was even a tune with an unknown title, the discography says, here labeled as MC. You could say that the sessions used for the originally album Grass Roots was a remake of this session, with other musicians and other arrangements. Great to compare these two versions. (Hans Koert - )

The second International Jazz Festival Middelburg is sceduled on the 9th up to the 12th of May 2008 in the city of Middelburg, in the southwest part of The Netherlands.
Dozens of great names will appear in the attractive innercourt of the abbey and in the venues in the centre of the city : Rita Reys, Europe's first lady of jazz, Bobby Previte, Archie Shepp, Brooks Tegler, E.S.T., The Cotton City Jazz Band, Eric Vloeimans and Maceo Parker. You can find all info at their website: Jazzfestival Middelburg. ( Hans Koert - )

Keep swinging

Hans Koert

Nederlands ( To the English translation )

De bijdrage voor vandaag over de plaat van Andrew Hill Grass Roots, die met die ravottende kinderen op de hoes, is tamelijk uitgebreid geworden zodat ik de Nederlandse vertaling bewaar voor een andere keer. Voor wie zich vandaag toch wil informeren heb ik een verslag van een concert van een band die in de traditie van de Quintet du Hot Club de France speelt en optrad in Amecitia in Kloetinge een jaar geleden:
Quatre Tickets du Swing.
Ook de titel The Riffing Element is interessant; een stukje jeugdsentiment: Wie is niet ooit begonnen om de jazzwereld te ontrafelen m.b.v. de pockets met titels als Jazz - van New Orleans tot Cool met daarin de verhelderende lijn diagrammen van Joachim E. Berendt? Genoeg stof dus om jezelf te vermaken ....... . ( Hans Koert - )

Het tweede Internationaal Jazzfestival Middelburg staat gepland voor het pinksterweekend, 9 t/m 12 mei 2008 in Middelburg.
Tientallen grote en minder grote namen staan er dan op de podia op het binnenplein van de sfeervollle abdij en de podia in de binnenstad: Rita Reys, Europa's first lady of jazz, Bobby Previte, Archie Shepp, Brooks Tegler, E.S.T, The Cotton City Jazz Band, Eric Vloeimans en Maceo Parker. Je vindt alle informatie op hun website: Jazzfestival Middelburg. ( Hans Koert - )

Keep swinging

Hans Koert




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