Saturday, May 18, 2019

JOACHIM KÜHN – This Way Out (MPS/BASF Rec. ‎– 2921752-3 / 2LP-1973)




Label: MPS/BASF Records ‎– 2921752-3
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP / Gatefold sleeve / Country: W. Germany / Released: 1973
Style: Free Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded in January 1973 at MPS Studio, Villingen, W. Germany.
Design [Cover], Photography By – Bernhard Wetz
Photography By [Liner Photos] – A.C. Besgaard, Anne Delmas, G. Hasenfratz, R. Kühn
Produced by MPS-Records, Villingen
Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, etched): A 0666 121 S 1 / 2921752-3 -1
Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, etched): B 0666 121 S 2 / 2921752-3 -2
Matrix / Runout (Side C runout, etched): C 0666 122 S 1 / 2921752-3 -3
Matrix / Runout (Side D runout, etched): D 0666 122 S 2 / 2921752-3 -4

side 1
A1 - Brother Rolf ....................................................................................................... 1:53
A2 - Byg Bridge ......................................................................................................... 5:53
A3 - Amok ................................................................................................................. 5:50
A4 - She's A Beauty .................................................................................................. 4:30
A5 - Spaced In .......................................................................................................... 4:28

side 2
B1 - Body And Soul ................................................................................................... 5:11
B2 - Phallic Dance ..................................................................................................... 6:03
B3 - Juxtaposition ...................................................................................................... 3:46
B4 - All The Things You Are ...................................................................................... 3:35
B5 - Paris '72 ............................................................................................................. 0:58

side 3
C1 - This Way Out ..................................................................................................... 4:51
C2 - Do Dat Dudek .................................................................................................... 5:25
C3 - Sound Color One ............................................................................................... 2:00
C4 - Sound Color Two ............................................................................................... 1:16
C5 - Other Way Out ................................................................................................... 3:45

side 4
D  -  Unison Union .................................................................................................. 20:25

Musicians:
Joachim Kühn – piano, alto saxophone
Gerd Dudek – tenor & soprano saxophone, flute
Peter Warren – bass, cello
Daniel Humair – drums, percussion


JOACHIM KUHN "This Way Out" (1973 German, 16-track double LP on MPS, with red labels and 2921752-3 catalogue prefix, front laminated gatefold sleeve with 0666 121 overstickered catalogue number. Stunning advanced Jazz here from a label that putout some of the very best, forward thinking, and often glorious sounding Fusion records of the seventies.



Joachim Kühn is joined by Daniel Humair, one of Europe’s most celebrated drummers, along with bassist/cellist Peter Warren, whose play has graced the albums of such diverse greats as Clarla Bley and John Scofield. The impressionistic miniature Brother Rolph serves as an introduction, the up-tempo Byg Bridge spans over to the helter-skelter of Amok, while the well-named ballad She’s a Beauty precedes the straight-ahead swing of Spaced In. Kühn tenders a personal solo-rendering of the classic Body And Soul, then switches to alto sax on the harsh, ritualistic Phallic Dance.




Juxtaposition features contrasting solo and group dynamics, and the trio show their standards chops on the medium-tempo All The Things You Are. The musical snapshot Paris 72 book-ends the 10 trio pieces. German saxophonist Gerd Dudek, whose playing credentials include Carla Bley and Don Cherry, joins the trio on the next six pieces. He takes up soprano on the Latin-like This Way Out, while he’s on tenor and Kühn on alto with hell-bent free solos on Do Dat Dudek. Sound Color One and Two are miniatures that explore the possibilities of musical textures. Other Way Out is a free dialogue between piano and soprano, and Unison Union brings the quartet together in a display of intuitive inspiration. 16 pieces of creative brilliance.



If you find it, buy this album!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

BOOKER ERVIN – Back From The Gig (Blue Note – BN-LA488-H2 / 2LP-1976)




Label: Blue Note – BN-LA488-H2
Series: The Blue Note Re-Issue Series –
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1976
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop, Avant-Garde, Improvisation
A1 to B3 recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on February 15, 1963.
C1 to D2 recorded Rudy Van Gelder's, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on June 24, 1968.
Design [Album] – Bob Cato
Producer [Original Sessions] – Alfred Lion
Producer [Produced For Released By], Liner Notes – Michael Cuscuna
Supervised By [Project Director Blue Note Jazz Re-Issue Series] – Charlie Lourie
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Runout etched): BN-LA 488-1- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Runout etched): BN-LA 488-2- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 3 Runout etched): BN-LA 488-3- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 4 Runout etched): BN-LA 488-4- UA

side 1
A1 - Home In Africa ................................................................................................. 8:45
A2 - A Tune For Richard ......................................................................................... 6:05
A3 - Back From The Gig ......................................................................................... 5:50
side 2
B1 - Dexi ................................................................................................................. 5:45
B2 - Kucheza Blues ................................................................................................. 5:35
B3 - Happy Frame Of Mind ..................................................................................... 6:10

Personnel:
Horace Parlan – piano
Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone
Johnny Coles – trumpet
Grant Green – guitar
Butch Warren – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion

side 3
C1 - Gichi ................................................................................................................ 7:25
C2 - Den Tex ........................................................................................................... 7:32
C3 - In A Capricornian Way .................................................................................... 5:47
side 4
D1 - Lynn's Tune ..................................................................................................... 6:10
D2 - 204 ................................................................................................................. 10:15

Personnel:
Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone
Woody Shaw – trumpet
Kenny Barron – piano
Jan Arnet – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion

"Back from the Gig" is a double LP by American jazz saxophonist Booker Ervin featuring performances recorded in 1963 and 1968 but not released on the Blue Note label until 1976.
The earlier session was later released in 1988 as originally intended under Horace Parlan's name as "Happy Frame of Mind" and the later session was finally released in 2005 as "Tex Book Tenor".

Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone


When the session that comprised the Happy Frame of Mind record was released as a Booker Ervin album, it was titled Back From the Gig. Horace Parlan, however, was the leader for the session, and the album was originally scheduled to be released in the mid-'60s by Blue Note as Happy Frame of Mind. After remaining unreleased for over a decade, it was issued as Back From the Gig, but once the CD revolution struck in the '80s, the music was reissued as it originally was intended -- that is, the Happy Frame of Mind album. Happy Frame of Mind/Back From the Gig finds Horace Parlan breaking away from the soul-inflected hard bop that had become his trademark, moving his music into more adventurous, post-bop territory. Aided by a first-rate quintet -- trumpeter Johnny Coles, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin, guitarist Grant Green, bassist Butch Warren, drummer Billy Higgins -- Parlan produces a provocative set that is grounded in soul and blues but stretches out into challenging improvisations. None of the musicians completely embrace the avant-garde, but there are shifting tonal textures and unpredictable turns in the solos which have been previously unheard in Parlan's music. Perhaps that's the reason the session sat unissued in Blue Note's vaults until 1976, when it was released as part of a double-record Booker Ervin set, but the fact of the matter is, it's one of Parlan's most successful efforts, finding the perfect middle ground between accessible, entertaining jazz and more adventurous music.
(Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)




Tex Book Tenor was recorded in 1968 as a follow-up to Booker Ervin's debut date for Blue Note, The In Between, which was released in January of the same year. (Ervin had made two records for Pacific Jazz, which is now owned, like Blue Note, by EMI.) The album remained unreleased until 1976, when it was issued with an also unreleased Horace Parlan date on a double LP called Back from the Gig. The lineup is stellar and includes Billy Higgins, Woody Shaw, Kenny Barron, and bassist Jan Arnet from Czechoslovakia. Barron and Ervin had worked together before, and Arnet had worked with Ervin three years earlier as a touring partner in Germany. The music here includes three Ervin originals, Barron's wonderful "Gichi," and Shaw's "In a Capricornian Way." The Afro-Latin-influenced grooves of "Gichi" display Ervin playing his solo in prime snake-charmer mode. His own "Den Tex" is classic hard bop with Barron and Ervin going head to head throughout. "Lynn's Tune" is a beautiful midtempo ballad with wonderful work by Arnet and a loping solo by Shaw. The closer is "204," a steaming hard bop tune with a killer head featuring the two horns just pushing the tempo before Ervin goes off the map into his solo. Barron's playing is totally inspired, pushing huge chords at both players as they dig into the changes and come out breathing fire. This is a wonderful addition not only to the Blue Note catalog, but to Ervin's own shelf as well, and should be picked up by anyone interested in him as a bandleader and composer.
(AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek)



If you find it, buy this album!

BOOKER ERVIN – The Freedom Book (Prestige – PRST 7295 / LP-1964)




Label: Prestige – PR 7295, Prestige – PRST 7295
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo / Country: US / Released: 1964
Style: Hard Bop
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; December 3, 1963.
Design, Photography By – Don Schlitten
Liner Notes [Jan. 1964] – David A. Himmelstein
Producer By – Don Schlitten
Recorded By – Rudy Van Gelder
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 etched): PRST.7295.A
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 etched): PRST.7295.B

side 1
A1 - A Lunar Tune ..................................................................................................... 7:50
A2 - Cry Me Not ........................................................................................................ 4:54
A3 - Grant’s Stand ..................................................................................................... 8:06

side 2
B1 - A Day To Mourn ................................................................................................. 9:35
B2 - Al’s In ................................................................................................................. 9:58

Personnel:
Booker Ervin – tenor saxophone
Jaki Byard – piano
Richard Davis – bass
Al Dawson – drums, percussion

The first of four thematically linked albums, tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin's The Freedom Book is an overlooked classic. The Song Book, The Blues Book and The Space Book were all subsequently recorded in 1964 for Prestige, but this seminal 1963 recording is a masterpiece of unconventional, advanced hard bop.


Less free than the title suggests, the album remains challenging and utterly contemporary. While not as willfully avant-garde as his contemporaries Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman, Ervin (best known as Charles Mingus' primary tenor saxophonist from 1956-1962) traveled the same subtle inside-outside territory as Jackie McLean and Sam Rivers. Equally capable of rich lyricism and electrifying tension, Ervin's distinctively plangent tone undulates with dramatic brio. His pithy timbre and slippery, unpredictable phrasing offers a welcome alternative to the Coltrane and Rollins imitators of the time.
Ervin is joined by visionary pianist Jaki Byard (a fellow veteran of the classic Mingus bands), a musician beyond category. Byard was post-modern before such a term even existed; his style encompasses everything from stride to free jazz.
The rhythm section is rounded out by imaginative bassist Richard Davis and the superlative drummer Alan Dawson (Tony Williams' future teacher). Davis' unique phrasing is coupled with an unconventional melodic sensibility. Dawson's fractured rhythmic attack provides an edgy undercurrent, insinuating time without overstating it. His endlessly modulating ebb and flow complements Davis' ability to stretch the time while maintaining the pulse perfectly.



Rarely has a rhythm section been so in tune with one another. On "Grant's Stand" Byard stretches a wildly oscillating statement into a series of descending arpeggios that Dawson accents as the two plummet, trading phrases before Davis enters, transposing their statements. For a line-up that never officially played out live, this studio group reveals a remarkable level of interaction and interplay, more than most veteran touring ensembles.
The album is dominated by a trio of scorching up-tempo cookers, with "A Lunar Tune" churning out irrepressible locomotive energy. Randy Weston's tender "Cry Me Not" and Ervin's somber dedication to the late President Kennedy, "A Day To Mourn," provide temporary respite.

Re-convening ten months later for the even more exploratory The Space Book (Prestige, 1964), this quartet played at an almost telepathic level. Timeless in its appeal, this edition of The Freedom Book belongs in the album collection of any serious jazz fan.

(Review By Troy Collins, AAJ)



If you find it, buy this album!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

ERIC DOLPHY – The Great Concert Of Eric Dolphy, 1961 (P-34002 / 3LP-1974)




Label: Prestige ‎– P-34002
Format: 3 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Remastered
This Box Set includes an insert, triple gatefold / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Free Jazz, Modal, Free Improvisation
Recorded live at the Five Spot Cafe, New York City, 16 July 1961.
Art Direction, Photography By [Cover Photo] – Tony Lane
Engineer [Original Recording Engineer] – Rudy Van Gelder
Remastered At – Fantasy Studios / By – Brian Gardner
Liner Notes – Joe Goldberg, Ira Gitler, Robert Levin
Supervised By [Original Recording] – Esmond Edwards
Sides 1 / 2 originally released as "Live At the Five Spot Volume 1" (P/NJ-8260)
Sides 3 / 4 originally released as "Live At the Five Spot Volume 2" (P/NJ-8288)
Sides 5 / 6 originally released as "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Album" (P-7334)
Matrix / Runout (Label Side A): P-34002-A
Matrix / Runout (Label Side B): P-34002-B
Matrix / Runout (Label Side C): P-34002-C
Matrix / Runout (Label Side D): P-34002-D
Matrix / Runout (Label Side E): P-34002-E
Matrix / Runout  (Label Side F): P-34002-F
Disributed by Fantasy Records, Tenth and Parker, Berkeley, Ca. 94710

side 1:
    A1 - Fire Waltz  (M. Waldron) ............................................................................. 13:10
    A2 - Bee Vamp  (B. Little) ................................................................................... 12:11

side 2:
     B  -  The Prophet  (E. Dolphy ............................................................................ 21:06

side 3:
     C  -  Aggression  (B. Little) ................................................................................ 16:35

side 4:
     D  -  Like Someone In Love  (J. Van Heusen-J. Burke) .................................... 19:29

side 5:
     E  -  Number Eight / Lotsa Potsa  (E. Dolphy) ................................................... 15:25

side 6:
     F  -  Booker's Waltz  (E.Dolphy) ........................................................................ 14:30

Personnel:
Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Booker Little – trumpet
Mal Waldron – piano
Richard Davis – bass
Eddie Blackwell – drums, percussion

ERIC DOLPHY / The Great Concert Of Eric Dolphy (1974. US, 7-tracks, triple LP box set with insert, repackaging the albums 'Live At The Five Spot' & the 'Eric Dolphy Memorial Album', all recorded live on July 16th 1961 in New York, engineer – Rudy Van Gelder.
© 1974 Prestige Records / Printed in U.S.A.


After having left the ensemble of Charles Mingus and upon working with John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy formed a short-lived but potent quintet with trumpeter Booker Little, who would pass away three months after this recording. Despite all of the obstacles and subsequent tragedy, this quintet became legendary over the years -- justifiably so -- and developed into a role model for all progressive jazz combos to come. The combined power of Dolphy and Little -- exploring overt but in retrospect not excessive dissonance and atonality -- made them a target for critics but admired among the burgeoning progressive post-bop scene. With the always stunning shadings of pianist Mal Waldron, the classical-cum-daring bass playing of Richard Davis, and the colorful drumming of alchemistic Ed Blackwell, there was no stopping this group. Live at the legendary Five Spot Café in New York City, this band set the Apple, and the entire jazz world on their collective ears. "Fire Waltz" demonstrates perfectly how the bonfire burns from inside the soul of these five brilliant provocateurs, as Dolphy's sour alto and Little's dour trumpet signify their new thing. Dolphy's solo is positively furious, while Blackwell nimbly switches up sounds within the steady 3/4 beat. "Bee Vamp" does not buzz so much as it roars in hard bop trim. A heavy tandem line breaks and separates in the horn parts like booster rockets. Blackwell is even more amazing, and Dolphy's ribald bass clarinet set standards that still influences players of the instrument. Where "The Prophet" is a puckery blues, it is also open armed with minor phrasings and stretched harmonics. This is where Waldron and Davis shine in their terra cotta facades of roughly hewn accompaniments to Dolphy and Little's bold flavored statements.





A Group also shows a compositional thrust in very dissonant thematic material really stretching out during long versions of Little's "Aggression" and the standard "Like Someone in Love." Dolphy's playing -- whether on alto, bass clarinet, or flute -- always defied categorization, while Little was the first new voice on the trumpet to emerge after Clifford Brown's death in 1956.
The vast majority welcomes this incredible concert, as music that changed the jazz world as much as Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane's innovative excursions of the same era. All forward thinking and challenged listeners need to own these epic club dates.
(Review by Michael G. Nastos)




I love to pull this one out when I’ve got the house to myself and a few hours with nothing much to do, and that’s today. It was originally released as three separate albums (Live at the Five Spot Vol. 1 and 2, and Eric Dolphy Memorial Album), and then Prestige put out this version in the 70s. It unfortunately leaves out a wonderful version of “God Bless The Child” that was also played at this show, which is available elsewhere. Regardless, if you stumble across this 3LPs, it is well worth picking up – it’s a remarkable piece of jazz history and tremendously enjoyable. An excellent set that records what may have been Dolphy's finest group ever, as well as one of that era's best working bands.

E n j o y !!!



If you find it, buy this album!

Monday, February 4, 2019

JACKIE McLEAN – Jacknife (1965/66) Blue Note–BN-LA457-H2/UA – 2LP-1975




Label: Blue Note ‎– BN-LA457-H2
Series: The Blue Note Re-Issue Series –
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1975
Style: Post Bop
A1 to B3 recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in mid 1965.
C1 to D3 rec. at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on April 12, 1966.
Art Direction, Design – Bob Cato
Photography By – Raymond Ross
Liner Notes – Ira Gitler
Producer [Original Sessions Produced By] – Alfred Lion
Producer [Produced For Release By] – Michael Cuscuna
Matrix / Runout (Side 1 Runout etched): BN-LA 457-1- UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 4 Runout etched): BN-LA 457-4 UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Runout etched): BN-LA 457-2 UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 3 Runout etched): BN-LA 457-3 UA

side 1
A1 - On The Nile ...................................................................................................... 12:30
A2 - Climax ................................................................................................................ 9:19

side 2
B1 - Soft Blue ........................................................................................................... 7:25
B2 - Jacknife ............................................................................................................. 6:15
B3 - Blue Fable ......................................................................................................... 6:00

Personnel:
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Charles Tolliver – trumpet (A1, B1, B3)
Lee Morgan – trumpet (A2, B1, B2)
Larry Willis – piano
Larry Ridley – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums, percussion

side 3
C1 - High Frequency ............................................................................................... 11:25
C2 - Combined Effort ................................................................................................ 9:24

side 4
D1 - Moonscape ........................................................................................................ 6:47
D2 - Jossa Bossa ...................................................................................................... 7:00
D3 - The Bull Frog ..................................................................................................... 4:35

Personnel:
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Larry Willis – piano
Don Moore – bass
Jack DeJohnette – drums, percussion

All the material in this album is previously unreleased and issued here for the first time.
Jackie McLean's Jacknife sessions it actually comprises two volumes, one recorded in 1965 and the other in 1966. They were originally given the catalogue number of BLP 4223 and BLP 4236, but were shelved for ten years and issued together in 1975 as a double LP, with the number BN-LA457-H2. Whilst the 1965 tracks were released on a limited edition CD in 2002, those from 1966 have never been released singularly.


A heady combination of post-bop, avant-garde, and soul jazz, recorded on the cusp of the sale of Blue Note to Liberty.
The tapes languished in the Blue Note vaults for a decade until Michael Cuscuna discovered them and produced this double-helping for United Artists.
Razor-sharp Van Gelder recordings which United Artists engineers manage to capably reproduce. As Cuscuna said, the only thing you have to do to a Van Gelder recording is keep your hands behind your back and not mess it up.



...Starting with Let Freedom Ring, McLean embraced modality and wasn’t sheepish to use honks and squeaks in his solos. This 1965 session, showcases McLean’s exciting vision of jazz in all its glory.
With a rhythm section of Larry Willis, Larry Ridley and Jack DeJohnette, as well as two trumpeters, Charles Tolliver and Lee Morgan, McLean crafts an album full of urgency and intensity. McLean himself thrives on the modal structures of Tolliver’s “On The Nile” and DeJohnette’s “Climax,” producing fiery solos that illustrate his vivid imagination as a soloist. He also contributes the well-thought out original “Blue Fable” to the proceedings. Morgan makes his strongest impression on “Blue Fable” and also plays on “Climax” as well as his own tune, “Soft Blue,” which comes off as, maybe, a tad too conventional for this album. Tolliver trumps Morgan, though, with his writing as well as his unique improvisations, especially his dramatic thoughts on “On The Nile” and his ability to match McLean’s fury on the title track.
Willis’s solos are models of restraint and provide an excellent contrast to the three horn players. DeJohnette’s playing on his own composition particularly is an instructive example of a jazz drummer constantly building up and releasing tension, not unlike what Tony Williams did on McLean’s One Step Beyond.



During the heyday of Blue Note, many fine sessions such as Jacknife did not see the light of day until many years later. So, while it’s admittedly not surprising that jazz of this calibre was not immediately released, it’s still a tad confounding that producer Alfred Lion could let this fine music linger in the vault.          (Review by Robert Gilbert / AAJ)



If you find it, buy this album!

JACKIE McLEAN – Hipnosis (1962/67) Blue Note–BN-LA483-J2/UA – 2LP-1978




Label: Blue Note ‎– BN-LA483-J2
Series: Blue Note Jazz Classic Series –
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album / Country: US / Released: 1978
Style: Hard Bop, Post Bop
A1 to B3 rec. at Rudy Van Gelder's, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on June 14, 1962.
C1 to D3 rec. at Rudy Van Gelder's, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on February 3, 1967.
Design [Album] – Bob Cato
Photography By – H. Nolan
Compiled By – Michael Cuscuna
Liner Notes – Ben Sidran
Producer [Original Sessions Produced By], Producer – Alfred Lion
Supervised By [Project Director Blue Note Jazz Classic Series] – Charlie Lourie
Matrix / Runout (Side 1): BN-LA483-1 (SET 1) 2 ECK UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 2): BN-LA483-2 (SET 2) 1 ECK UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 3): BN-LA483-3 (SET 2) 1 ECK UA
Matrix / Runout (Side 4): BN-LA483-4 (SET 1) 2 ECK UA

side 1
A1 - The Three Minors ............................................................................................... 6:00
A2 - Blues In A Jiff ..................................................................................................... 7:00
A3 - Blues For Jackie ................................................................................................. 7:45

side 2
B1 - Marilyn's Dilemma ............................................................................................. 5:00
B2 - Iddy Bitty ........................................................................................................... 8:10
B3 - The Way I Feel .................................................................................................. 7:15

Personnel:
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Kenny Dorham – trumpet
Sonny Clark – piano
Butch Warren – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion

side 3
C1 - Hipnosis .......................................................................................................... 11:15
C2 - Slow Poke ........................................................................................................ 7:40

side 4
D1 - The Breakout .................................................................................................... 6:17
D2 - Back Home ....................................................................................................... 6:05
D3 - The Reason Why .............................................................................................. 6:45

Personnel:
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone
Grachan Moncur III – trombone
LaMont Johnson – piano
Scott Holt – bass
Billy Higgins – drums, percussion


All selections are released here for the first time. All selections are in stereo.
Hipnosis is a studio album by saxophonist Jackie McLean, featuring selections recorded for Blue Note Records in the 1960s, but not released until 1978. The album was released in the US as a two-fer (BN-LA 483-H2), which included five tracks from a 1967 session, plus six tracks recorded in 1962.  In Japan, it was released the same year as a standard LP (ST-83022) with a different cover, featuring only the 1967 tracks.



The first session's from his wailing hard bop days, and features Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums. Tracks from this one include "Blues For Jackie", "Blues In a Jiff", and "Iddy Bitty". The other set's from the tail end of his "new thing" days, and features Grachan Moncur on trombone and Lamont Johnson on piano. Tracks here include "The Breakout", "Hipnosis", "Slow Poke", and "The Reason Why".
It is interesting to compare Hipnosis with the other UA McLean two-fer offering, Jacknife. I find this Jazz Classics Series sonically better (probably just by chance)  and musically has the edge, if only for the presence of a bubbling Sonny Clark and a brooding Grachan Moncur III. McLean recorded numerous times with Moncur, something about how the malevolant lower register trombone and offsetting acid-sharp alto gel, sweet and sour, a challenging sort of brass unison.



Both vintage McLean twofers are in my view essential, inexpensive good-sounding double vinyl. I expect most jazz fans already have them, but perhaps like me you have been neglecting to play them, so its good to get them off the shelf and onto the turntable where they belong. The twofers are over thirty years old, nearing forty years, close to nearly a  decade short of originals. That is “vintage”, good enough for me.
Even if you have all the McLean and Moncur Blue Notes, which I do, the two McLean twofers (is that a fourfer?) generously complement your collection, without duplicating any tracks.

And in the end, quite what United Artists thought they were doing releasing two twofer series – The Blue Note Reissue Series and The Blue Note Jazz Classics series –  is a mystery to me. Why call something a re-issue which has never been issued before? They are all Jazz Classics, whatever the word Classics means.         (parts of londonjazzcollector review)




If you find it, buy this album!