GRANT GREEN — Street of Dreams (review)

GRANT GREEN — Street of Dreams album cover Album · 1966 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Abraxas
Blue Note-addict, Grant Green, released dozens of albums throughout the 60s showing clearly his evolution and diversity in different contexts, having played with lots of renowned musicians. In Street of Dreams we got the trio that played in Talkin’ About which is Larry Young on organ, Elvin Jones on drums and Green on guitar, plus the addition of vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson on this session.

The unision of B3 Hammond Organ and jazz guitar is not something new at all, but Grant Green probably made my favourite album featuring this unision, which is this. But that's only telling half of the story, since actually I love this album also because of the combination of vibraphone and organ, the former playing the upper keys while the organ does the lower register, as a whole creating a fantastic sound which isn’t common in jazz (or elsewhere).

Street of Dreams is in its essence a dreamy and night-mood album, as the title suggests. And that's actually surprising since Larry is not actually known for being a calm organist, neither is Jones' drum-kit accustomed to playing gently nor much of Bobby's vibes.

What is also surprising is that all four compositions are covers, mainly popular early 50s songs (sang). But Green & Co. really make these compositions their own, as great jazz musicians are known of doing. It's in the case of 'Lazy Afternoon' that the band even turns the original 4/4 into a 5/4 tune! But mind you, it's a slow-paced 5/4 unlike 'Take Five'. Yes, the four compositions are mainly slow-driven tunes with no real need of power; it's the whole subtlety and dreaminess that makes this album so enjoyable, and of course the exquisite solos of each of the members.

Although many will object of considering this a great Green record, since the guitarist's classic features are not present, I still think this is an excellent album, and like I said at the beginning, one of the best in combining guitar and organ, even though those particular instruments don’t actually show-off, they’re simply joined as one within the whole flow of the album.
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