ANDREW HILL — Point of Departure

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ANDREW HILL - Point of Departure cover
3.85 | 17 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1964

Filed under Post Bop
By ANDREW HILL

Tracklist

A1 Refuge
A2 New Monastery
B1 Spectrum
B2 Flight 19
B3 Dedication

CD bonuses:
6. New Monastery (alternate take) (6:13)
7. Flight 19 (alternate take) (3:49)
8. Dedication (alternate take) (7:01)

Total Time: 57:16

Line-up/Musicians

Kenny Dorham - trumpet
Eric Dolphy - alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Joe Henderson - tenor saxophone
Andrew Hill - piano
Richard Davis - bass
Tony Williams - drums

About this release

Blue Note ‎– BLP 4167 (US)

Recorded on March 21, 1964 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Thanks to snobb, Abraxas for the updates

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ANDREW HILL POINT OF DEPARTURE reviews

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
When asking fans about a favourite early work of Andrew Hill, the present PoD will probably get many mentions, if not more than all the other albums combined. While the album is a good progression on Black Fire, I’ve often thought that the present’s title might be a bit misleading, despite some undeniable progress in terms of groundbreaking-ness, but let’s face it, it’s all very relative when comparing to Trane, Ornette or Cecil. Using most of the line-up from the BF album, but replacing Haynes by Tony Williams and adding the great Eric Dolphy, PoD is generally highly regarded and often pointed-out as Hill’s chef d’oeuvre, but this writer begs to differ.

Indeed, Dolphy’s presence on the present album does seem to give it an “avant-garde” edge, but if you listen to the other four partakers, you won’t find all that much to reinforce that “edge”, with all due respect to Tony, Andrew, Richard & Joe. I want for exhibit A the opening 12-mins aptly-titled Refuge (from the garde’s avant). To these ears, PoD’s jazz sounds rather standard, once past Dolphy’s modern and often slightly dissonant sax and scratching a bit deeper. OK, yours truly is not a musician, so he can’t dissect the chord and time signatures structures, but to these somewhat-experimented ears (over two decades of jazz explorations), we’re not dealing with anything close to avant-garde in the semantic meaning (freeform), but more like a post-bop album which found itself lumped in the wrong category by inexact writers that lacked the historical insight and the necessary retrospective sense (I wouldn’t claim I’d have done it better either). To these ears, only the 9-mins+ Spectrum’s middle section and its predecessor New Monastery seem to stick out as a real departure, including Dolphy’s flute and later on clarinet’s squeakings and squealings, and Flight 19 getting a short experimental flight, with Dobham’s trumpet taking the lead pilot role. The closing Dedication opens on some Spanish-sounding trumpet, and Dolphy’s bass clarinet adds some colours but in the end result, it sounds like they’re late one revolution.

If I may sound a bit harsh in my opening comments, PoD remains a fine album and it most certainly is one for AH in his discography but let’s face it, this is not essential listening (despite Williams, Henderson and Dolphy’s presence) to me, although it’s definitely worth the detour and knowing what the present album is all about. Prefer Compulsion’s 5 “!” to this Departure.

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