GRANT GREEN — Idle Moments (review)

GRANT GREEN — Idle Moments album cover Album · 1964 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Matt
Accidental Jazz classic as the the tune "Idle Moments" was supposed to run for only seven minutes but things went a little astray with Grant Green's directions from Duke Pearson and he kept playing which was quite lucky for us Jazz fans as they created his most memorable recording. Grant Green is doing album number fifteen for the label at this time with the album being recorded over two sessions in November 1963 but if not for the extension to "Idle Moments" in the first take they would not have needed to return to shorten two of the tracks so they could fit on the album. They did re-record the title in its original planned time of only seven minutes but the takes were just not as good which meant to make the first take the master was the only other option. Blue Note with this release have provided the first versions of "Jean De Fleur" and "Django" in their full length as bonus tracks and they are at the end. The band could not have been any better with Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, Bobby Hutcherson is a little out his usual space as he had been playing more on the Avante Garde side with the label but here shows he is good at anything with his superb vibraphone touch. Duke Pearson is on piano and actually directing the muscians in the session as would be expected after taking over from his predecesor Ike Quebec . The rythmn section is Bob Cranshaw on bass who is a regular at the label and the same can be said for Al Harewood on drums with both appearing as sideman in many recordings for the label from this period. Late at night is the time to hear "Idle Moments" and it was actually recorded after midnight so the band have that vibe right in place with some beautiful relaxing bluesy Jazz.

Duke Pearson who composed the composition opens on piano but Grant just glides in and takes over with the slow theme and solos with some of the loveliest dreamy picking with plenty of space, so you can hear every chord. Underneath all this Al Harewood is using brushes and not sticks to keep everything nice and laidback on drums. Lengthy solos from all with Duke doing a beautifiul low key solo on piano as all do, with Joe Henderson on bluesy tenor following along with Bobby Hutcherson's low key vibes completing the composition giving the tune that perfect touch with a beautiful display of just the right, spaced, low key touch in this fifteen minute masterpiece. "Jean De Fleur" will bring you out of the last tunes dream with its quick up tempo time and Grant plays one of those real quick pickers drenched with that blues influence that he seem to exhude with every strum. Since the tune was shortened Joe and Bobby on their respective turns do not get as long but do not worry you will know Joe is there with his quick fire solo and Bobby provides a heap of energy but listen he does not get drawn in to overplay and keeps beautiful space and time on vibraphone with great restraint. The following "Django" is back to the late night feel with its time a little quicker than the title but restrained all the same with Grant soloing first with Bob Cranshaw and Al Harewood keeping that beat and time in the rythmn section. Joe Henderson does not know how to play a boring solo and he always there with that energy of his in this one too. Bobby and Duke finish things with the band all coming in to this complete little shuffler off. "Nomad" is the closer and if you think, "where is some great blowing from Joe's tenor", then this is the one for you, he puts down one of his trademark quick changers with great ripping feel and placement. Bobby on vibes does not drop the standard and Grant, well he must have been needing to tune up his guitar after this one with some real tricky picking on this up tempo composition. The Alt takes which are the last two on the cd reissue are actually a bit better than the masters as you hear Joe and Bobby do a bit more with their turns because of the original time span planned for the numbers.

Another compulsory Blue Note aquisition one of Grant Green's finest on the label. If you are after something that is very similar in late night style his Quartet sessions with Sonny Clarke recorded in December 1961 and January 1962 or maybe Stanley Turrentine and his gruff tenor "Blue Hour"sessions with The Three Sounds might just suit your late night relaxation as well.
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